(Updated: The announcement was posted on the ESDC web site. Later, the decision was pushed back to January 23. Click to enlarge.)
The announcement states that the one-way bridge will be closed "to accommodate upgrading the Long Island Rail Road's Vanderbilt Yard under the bridge, and also to construct a new bridge as part of the Atlantic Yards project."
Meanwhile, northbound traffic will be rerouted either west along Pacific Street to Sixth Avenue, which will become two-way for the interim or east along Pacific Street to Vanderbilt Avenue. We'll see how that works, but "[t]raffic agents will be assigned to facilitate the flow of traffic."
(Photo by Tracy Collins from Sixth Avenue and Dean Streets. Pacific Street borders the brick Spalding Building in the background.)
The clock starts
The bridge was supposed to close near the end of 2006, according to the Draft Environmental Impact Statement, but that plan, obviously, has been delayed.
So this starts a three-year bridge reconstruction clock, given that the Sixth Avenue bridge would take a year to reconstruct. That suggests that, if the announced timetable is kept and the city and Forest City Ratner agree not to open the arena before infrastructure work is completed--a wise move, given the potential traffic nightmare--the earliest the arena could open would be in January 2011.