Three Construction Projects Completed In Time for Summer Driving

(Before) The south bound to Queens Cross Island Parkway ramp under construction.

(After) The newly redecked CIP ramp to Queens, which was fully reopened on July 26

Summer driving just got easier thanks to the completion of three MTA Bridges and Tunnels construction projects at the Throgs Neck Bridge, Henry Hudson Bridge and Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.

The projects were necessary to ensure the continued longevity of these bridges, said MTA Bridges and Tunnels President Jim Ferrara. "We know that construction work can be disruptive and we greatly appreciate our customers' patience," Ferrara said.

The Throgs Neck project included replacing the concrete roadway deck on the south bound to Queens Cross Island Parkway ramp. One lane on the ramp and one lane leading from the toll booth to the ramp had been closed since April but all lanes were fully reopened to traffic on Saturday, June 26.

"We're glad that we were able to exceed our target date and have the south bound ramp fully reopened in time for the July 4th holiday weekend," said Throgs Neck Facility Engineer Mike Prigge.

The Cross Island ramp work is part of a nearly $100 million, 3-year project to replace 140,000 square feet of roadway deck on the 49-year-old bridge. Still left to do is new decking on the Clearview Expressway ramps, but two lanes in each direction will be maintained while this is done, using the shoulder of the roadway.

A 43-month, $86 million project at the nearly 74-year-old Henry Hudson Bridge was also completed on Friday, June 25th. The work included replacement of the original 1936 Depression-era lower level roadway of the bridge and the rebuilding of the entire North approach structure at the Bronx end of the bridge, including new columns. A newly refurbished pedestrian walkway, leading from the Riverdale section of the Bronx to Inwood Park in Manhattan, and new energy-efficient lighting were also completed. One Manhattan-bound lane had been closed for the past three years while new roadway decking was installed.

"This was a very complicated and rewarding project," said Henry Hudson Facility Engineer Walter Hickey. "All of this detailed structural, mechanical, and electrical work was done while maintaining operations and minimizing the impact to customers."

At the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, work to remove eight unused toll booths at the Brooklyn-bound toll plaza was completed months ahead of the expected fall/winter completion date. A new traffic pattern for vehicles traveling through the Brooklyn-bound plaza was implemented on June 16th.

"With the removal of the toll booths, traffic flow from the expressway and the eastbound ramps will now flow in a more organized and efficient manner, resulting in smoother travel for motorists," said Verrazano-Narrows Facility Engineer David Riggs.

The $2.5 million toll booth project is part of a larger toll plaza rehabilitation program, which will include the removal of three more unused toll booths, realignment of the toll plaza roadways from the Staten Island Expressway, and improved ramps leading onto and off the bridge. This work is expected to begin in 2011 and be completed in 2014.