Contract Awarded to Remove Brooklyn-bound Toll Booths at Verrazano-Narrows Bridge

MTA Bridges and Tunnels has chosen Paul J. Scariano, Inc. of Brooklyn as the contractor for the first phase of a major toll plaza improvement project at the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge that includes demolition of eight unused Brooklyn-bound toll booths. The $2.5 million project also involves removing various components such as concrete islands, utilities, canopy structures, electronic signs as well as other electrical, concrete and asphalt restoration work.

"This project marks the most significant changes in the physical design of the toll plaza since the lower level of the bridge was opened in June 1969," said Acting President Jim Ferrara.

Starting in the spring, the toll booths will be removed two at a time beginning with those at the far right of the Brooklyn-bound plaza. All work will be done by shifting lanes of traffic. Peak-hour traffic lanes onto and through the toll plaza will be maintained during construction. The work is expected to be completed in early 2011. A second phase of the project, starting in 2011, will remove the remaining three Brooklyn-bound toll booths and make necessary improvements to the realignment of the roadway.

"Removing these outdated, deteriorating structures that have not been used since 1986 when one-way tolling was instituted will significantly improve traffic flow through the plaza and onto the bridge," Ferrara said.

The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, which opened to traffic in November 1964, is the Authority's most heavily traveled of its nine facilities, used by approximately 190,000 vehicles daily.

The toll booth removal work is part of a larger, five-year joint program being done in coordination with the New York State Department of Transportation, with the goal of improving traffic flow along the Staten Island Expressway and Verrazano-Narrows Bridge traffic corridor.

The second phase of the project, which is still being designed, will also include construction of a new connector ramp from the Staten Island Expressway leading directly to the lower level of the bridge. Rehabilitation and realignment of ramps leading to and from the bridge, including a new Narrows Road South entrance and new Lily Pond Avenue and Father Capodanno Boulevard entrance ramps in the Brooklyn-bound direction, and Lily Pond Avenue and Narrows Road North exit ramps in the Staten Island-bound direction, are also part of the work, which is expected to be completed in 2014.