The original Mill Basin Drawbridge was opened in 1940 as part of the Shore (Belt) Parkway bridge span system that once crossed Mill Basin in Brooklyn. Last month, DEC deployed 2.2 million pounds of the decommissioned drawbridge buildings, bridge support concrete, and concrete barriers on the Hempstead Reef - a 744-acre ecosystem with depths of up to 72 feet located three nautical miles off Long Island's South Shore.
Yesterday, DEC's Artificial Reef Program deployed an additional 2.3 million pounds of materials, including the former drawbridge's gatehouse building, Pier 7, bridge support concrete, and barriers to further enhance Hempstead Reef's marine habitat - bringing the total for Mill Basin Drawbridge materials to 4.5 million pounds.
Other materials were deployed on Hempstead Reef in August 2018 as part of Governor Cuomo's Artificial Reef Initiative, including:
-Two decommissioned Erie Canal vessels at 115 and 75 feet respectively,
-Two large New York Power Authority turbine runners totaling 140 tons, as well as
- Four DOT bridge trusses and former Tappan Zee Bridge material consisting of concrete decking, bridge supports and pipe piles.
- In December 2018, parts of the old City Island Bridge in the Bronx were also deployed on the Hempstead Reef.