This week's bridge continues our journey along the Belt Parkway (Shore Parkway) in Brooklyn, heading west from the Fresh Creek Bridge we arrive at the Paerdegat Basin Bridge. Again, this carries the Belt Parkway (this section of which is officially called Shore Parkway) across a small inlet, this being the Paerdigat Basin, three lanes of traffic in each direction and a sidewalk/bike path on the south side.
Like the Fresh Creek Bridge, the Paerdegat Basin Bridge is undergoing reconstruction, part of a plan to rebuild seven bridges on the Belt Parkway (some of which are overpasses over streets rather than bridges over water, therefore will not be covered in this blog). The sidewalk remains open during construction. But the Paerdigat Basin Bridge will undergo quite a transformation. The bridge will be replaced by a pair of bridges, one serving westbound lanes, and one serving eastbound lanes and the sidewalk. The clearance will also be higher, as you can see from the second picture above, there will be fewer spans to cross the water, and the design is different and more interesting than the existing bridge. I believe construction on this bridge is expected to last another two years or so.
The bridge actually runs more north-south than east-west, as the parkway takes a turn to the south here on its way to the west. You have to run a couple miles to the southwest, past the Jamaica Bay Riding Academy and across the Mill Basin Bridge (next week's bridge) before you can get back on the city streets at Flatbush Ave. Heading northeast from the bridge, it's about 3/4 mile to street access at Rockaway Parkway, where you'll also find Canarsie Pier, a very nice recreational park/pier that is very busy on a nice summer day.
The basin itself separates the neighborhoods of Canarsie to the east and Bergen Beach to the west. The name Paerdegat comes from the Dutch word paardengat, meaning "horse gate."