Traffic is in Its Final Configuration Nine Months Ahead of Schedule, Improving Safety and Traffic Flow
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the completion of major work on the $58 million reconstruction of three bridges at the Long Island Expressway/Grand Central Parkway Interchange, as well as highway improvements on the LIE between the GCP and College Point Boulevard, in Queens. The project began in the spring of 2015.
"These vital improvements will help ease congestion at this busy interchange for motorists while offering those traveling to LaGuardia and JFK a smoother commute," Governor Cuomo said. "By modernizing and strengthening Queens' transportation infrastructure, we help to meet the demands of the 21st century traveler while spurring economic growth for the entire Empire State."
Traffic at this busy interchange was moved into its final configuration this week and finishing work on the project will be completed this spring. Approximately 350,000 vehicles pass through this critical interchange each day.
The reconstructed bridges include the LIE mainline over the GCP, as well as the eastbound and westbound LIE service roads over the GCP. The decks and steel structures for all three bridges were replaced and the bridges were widened to create shoulders where none existed. Additionally, to enhance mobility in the westbound direction, the entrance lane from the Van Wyck Expressway to the westbound LIE mainline was extended, providing a longer merge distance and reducing traffic congestion.
Lighting upgrades were installed on the LIE mainline and service roads between College Point Boulevard and the GCP, as well as beneath the LIE at the GCP. New LED lighting and upgraded cables have increased visibility there and are saving energy.
Additional drainage structures were installed and existing ones were cleaned to facilitate storm water run-off. Upgrades to the Intelligent Transportation System, which helps publicize and manage traffic conditions, included new fiber optic cable, a new power source for electronic message signs, new ITS hub cabinets and a new camera pole with two new cameras. In addition, the concrete deck of the LIE Bridge over College Point Boulevard was repaired and the roadway in that area was reconstructed to improve drainage.
The project was progressed in stages to minimize traffic disruption. Three travel lanes in each direction were maintained throughout construction.
Project finishing work will be completed this spring, including the installation of sections of concrete barrier, pavement restoration, roadway resurfacing, and the installation of new pavement markings on the LIE mainline and service roads, as well as landscape restoration. Additionally, the roadway from 112th Street to east of College Point Boulevard will be resurfaced.
New York State Department of Transportation Acting Commissioner Paul A. Karas said, "Governor Cuomo is making smart investments in transportation infrastructure in New York City and across the state. Improvements at the LIE/GCP Interchange will ensure that traffic moves safely and efficiently at this important connection within Queens and beyond."
“It is critical that we continue to invest in our borough’s infrastructure, and these important upgrades will greatly enhance driving conditions by increasing safety and improving traffic flow,” said U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Queens). “I thank the governor for his commitment to this project and for making continued investments in our region’s roads, bridges and highways.”
Senator Jose Peralta said, "Our roads need an urgent injection of investment to ensure they do not continue to deteriorate. We need to accelerate and make the modernization of our infrastructure a priority. The reconstruction of these three bridges at the Long Island Expressway/Grand Central Parkway interchange is a good step toward the goal of modernizing our roads to improve safety. I applaud Governor Cuomo for this and other projects put in place to improve our network of roads."
Assemblymember Daniel Rosenthal said, "The completed rehabilitation of the three bridges will have enormous benefits to my constituents and commuters at large. These locations are along one of the busiest traffic corridors in New York State. I commend Governor Cuomo and the Department of Transportation on their continued investment towards the safety and longevity of our public roadways in Queens."
Assemblymember Nily Rozic said, "Strong and resilient transportation infrastructure is critical to spurring local economies, connecting travelers to their destinations and helping move New York forward. I thank the Governor and the state DOT for investing in this critical interchange in Queens and for offering traffic relief and smoother commutes for New Yorkers."
Queens Borough President Melinda Katz said, "Motorists and commercial vehicles who use the Long Island Expressway/Grand Central Parkway interchange will soon feel a significant difference, thanks to the acceleration of this vital reconstruction project. Governor Cuomo and the New York State DOT should be commended for the safer and smoother rides, and for making this reconstruction a priority and completing it months ahead of schedule."
Council Member Peter Koo said, "The LIE /GCP interchange is a critical highway artery connecting the four corners of Queens. The completion of this $58M infrastructure project is exactly the sort of investment our community needs, and I'd like to thank Governor Cuomo and the State DOT for exceeding expectations and coming through nine months ahead of schedule."
Council Member Karen Koslowitz said, "This interchange is a critical connector for hundreds of thousands of New Yorkers who rely on it every day. With the completion of this project, New York is helping to reduce traffic congestion and create an easier commute for New Yorkers and visitors alike. I thank the Governor and NYSDOT for their commitment to investing in our city's and our state's transportation infrastructure."
Council Member Rory Lancman said, "The reconstructed LIE/GCP interchange will make a major difference in our community by reducing traffic congestion and improving motorist safety. I commend Governor Cuomo and the Department of Transportation for making this crucial investment in Queens' transportation infrastructure."