Queens Firm Awarded $50 Million Contract For Verrazano-Narrows Toll Plaza Project

A Queens contractor was awarded a $50 million contract for the final phase of the Verrazano-Narrows toll plaza improvement project.

The project will include removing the remaining three unused eastbound toll booths, improvements to the entrance and exit ramps and rehabilitation of the eastbound toll plaza.

Restani Construction Corp., of Astoria, Queens was the low bidder among 12 companies. The original estimate for the project was $79 million but because of a recent favorable bid climate, the engineer estimate was lowered to about $57 million. The 45-month contract, which was awarded on Sept. 30th, includes a provision that a total of 20 percent of the work will go to hiring minority and women subcontractors.

The project was designed and is being closely coordinated with the New York State Department of Transportation's Staten Island Expressway Access Improvement work, which includes widening of the Fingerboard Bridge overpass and a series of new exit and entrance ramps along the expressway corridor.

"Once completed this work will improve the flow of traffic along the Staten Island corridor, which is a vital link in contributing to the economic health and growth of the metropolitan region," said MTA Bridges and Tunnels President Jim Ferrara.

The first eight unused eastbound toll booths were removed in 2010. In addition to removing the last three eastbound toll booths, the work will include rehabilitating the plaza roadway from the Staten Island Expressway to accommodate traffic traveling at highway speeds. This work is necessary because the 1960s-era plaza roadways were originally designed to handle traffic under toll plaza stop-and-go conditions, which will no longer exist.

Other highlights of the Capital Budget improvement project include building a new connector ramp that will take motorists directly from the Staten Island Expressway to the lower level of the bridge and construction of two flyover ramps at Narrows Road South and the Brooklyn-bound Lily Pond Avenue entrance, which will improve access to the upper level of the bridge and rehabilitation of the Father Capodanno entrance ramp heading into Brooklyn.

Funding for the project is included in the current Capital Budget. MTA Bridges and Tunnels' projects are funded through tolls and bonds, and are not dependent on federal or state funding.

The work is expected to be completed by summer 2015. The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, which opened to traffic Nov. 21, 1964, carries an average 188,000 vehicles daily.

Artist rendering of how Verrazano  eastbound toll plaza will look once unused toll booths are removed.

Artist rendering of how Verrazano eastbound toll plaza will look once unused toll booths are removed.