A one-of-a-kind, 100-year-old bridge structure supporting more than a dozen retail storefronts spans over 4 active tracks of the Long Island Railroad in Queens, NYC. The Lefferts Boulevard Bridge serves as both a historic landmark and a community hub for the Kew Gardens neighborhood with mom-and-pop shops occupying three building units originally constructed in the 1920s atop two concrete and steel platforms.
In 2018 the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) invested $1 million to access and repair the bridge to make sure it was structurally sound. Subsequently, the commercial retail buildings that run along both sides of the bridge required structural inspections and condition assessments in an ongoing effort to have the aging structures renovated and repaired while upholding their historic character.
McLaren performed the main structural inspections and condition assessments for the Lefferts Boulevard buildings with B. Thayer Associates responsible for the architectural investigations and L&J providing MEP (mechanical, electrical, and plumbing) examinations. Both visual and hand-on surveys were used to identify any structural deficiencies and code compliance issues. For each of the three separate single-story building structures that make up the site, individual investigations were performed respective to the foundation structures, building superstructure (steel columns, floor framing over tracks), roof framing, exterior masonry walls, as well as the floor and roof decks.
To determine the condition of the existing components and what was required to bring them up to code compliance, assessments were made as to each structure’s technical suitability, construction implications, and future maintenance requirements.
Based on the findings, McLaren provided both short and long-term repair recommendations needed to preserve and rehabilitate the historic structures. Additionally, the structural design of an emergency protection plan for temporary shoring and safety systems was developed to support future construction work on a portion of the brick facades.