New Project Completion Time is 2017
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the rehabilitation timeline of the Major Deegan Expressway (Interstate 87) in the Bronx will be shortened by approximately two years, enabling the $133 million project to be completed in 2017.
“The Major Deegan Expressway is crucial to both the Bronx and the thousands of commuters who use it daily,” Governor Cuomo said. “This shorter timeline will reduce the inconvenience from construction, while also ensuring that the Expressway is safer for decades to come. This is about putting drivers first, and I look forward to seeing the rehab project completed a full two years ahead of schedule.”
Work on the expedited schedule will begin June 15, and the plan calls for using precast concrete deck panels for the elevated portion of the highway, running from East 138th Street to the Macombs Dam Bridge. This is instead of pouring and curing concrete on site, which will provide many benefits. Since the panels are manufactured off-site in a controlled environment, the concrete can cure without exposure to weather and vibrations from adjacent traffic, providing a superior product and extending the bridge deck’s lifespan.
The process also allows the number of joints to be reduced, decreasing the chances of leaking and thus reducing long-term maintenance costs and improving durability. Additionally, fewer activities on site will reduce overall noise and construction traffic in and around the project area.
The revamped project will restrict the right northbound travel lane for two years. Starting in early July, when school is not in session, the lane will be “Exit Only” before Exit 3 (138th Street/Grand Concourse) and closed after Exit 3 to the Macombs Dam Bridge. This traffic pattern will provide motorists with reliable travel time through the corridor while reducing the duration of construction-related congestion.
New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Joan McDonald said, “The Major Deegan is critically important for commuters and commercial traffic, as well as for motorists travelling to Yankee Stadium, to businesses in the Bronx, and to other destinations within New York City and upstate New York. Under Governor Cuomo’s Drivers First Initiative, we re-evaluated the project and came up with ways to deliver it even more efficiently.”
Features of the project include:
- Reconstructing the elevated highway structure carrying the Major Deegan Expressway from East 138th Street to the Macombs Dam Bridge
- Improving seven entrance/exit ramps within the project limits;
- Installing 330,000 square feet of precast bridge deck;
- Installing a new, energy-efficient LED lighting system to enhance visibility and safety on the elevated Major Deegan roadway, as well as on Exterior Street below, where illumination levels will be doubled;
- Installing seven new sign structures and signage;
- Adding a new, permanent electronic Variable Message Sign on the southbound lane to provide real-time traffic information and general information to the traveling public;
- Striping the pavement on the highway to better illuminate lane markings;
- Replacing the outermost beams of the structure and making structural repairs; and
- Upgrading and replacing the drainage system.
The construction contractor for the project is Tully Construction Company, Inc. of Flushing, Queens. Work is expected to be substantially completed by late summer 2017.
Congressman José E. Serrano said, "The Major Deegan Expressway (Interstate 87) is an important transportation route for the Bronx and the rest of the City. We need to speed up its rehabilitation to ensure it is completed on time and to reduce inconvenience for the thousands of people who use it every day. I thank and commend Governor Cuomo for his efforts to ensure this important project is completed as quickly and efficiently as possible."
Assemblywoman Latoya Joyner said, “An essential investment in our transportation infrastructure that will enhance safety, and ultimately reduce traffic delays, the accelerated Major Deegan Expressway Rehabilitation Project marks a real commitment to improving the quality of life for the thousands of Bronx families living near this busy roadway. I want to thank Governor Cuomo and the state Department of Transportation for making improvements to the Major Deegan such an important part of their transportation agenda and for ensuring that any disruption in traffic is successfully minimized.”
New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito said, “The Major Deegan Expressway is a lifeline for the thousands of commuters who travel to the Bronx each day. Expediting repairs to this critical transportation hub will help alleviate traffic and make the expressway operate more efficiently and I thank Governor Cuomo and the New York State Department of Transportation for their investment in New York City.”
Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. said, “The Major Deegan Expressway is a key piece of our borough’s infrastructure, and Governor Cuomo’s move to expedite its rehabilitation is a victory for The Bronx. Our borough continues to attract new businesses, and we have become an even greater destination for visitors from not only the region, but all over the world, and our infrastructure must be prepared to meet those new levels of interest. I thank Governor Cuomo and the State Department of Transportation for moving this project forward, and I look forward to a revitalized Major Deegan Expressway.”