Drivers can expect delays on the Clearview Expressway and Grand Central Parkway as early as next week, when the state Department of Transportation (DOT) begins a major repaving project on both arteries.
Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Thursday the $18 million improvement to resurface the entire stretch of the Clearview Expressway between Hillside Avenue in Hollis and Willets Point Boulevard in Whitestone, along with portions of the Grand Central Parkway through Astoria, Jackson Heights and Jamaica.
The resurfacing work involves stripping off the existing pavement lane by lane (a process called milling) and later replacing it with new blacktop. Crews will also make repairs to the concrete roadbeds where required. Drivers can expect lane closures and delays while work is underway, as well as a rough surface in the period between milling and paving.
Every day, tens of thousands of vehicles travel on the nearly 5-mile long Clearview to and from the Throgs Neck Bridge, which also connects to both the Long Island Expressway and the Grand Central Parkway.
As for the parkway, the DOT plans to resurface both sides of the roadway between 34th and 82nd streets in Astoria and Jackson Heights and only the eastbound lanes between 168th Street and the Clearview.
Cuomo approved last year a $5.5 million plan resurfacing of the Grand Central’s westbound lanes between the Long Island Expressway and 111th Street, and the eastbound lanes between the Clearview and Union Turnpike. The westbound work is ongoing, while the eastbound phase will take place this summer.
“With these resurfacing and preventive maintenance projects, we will help ensure [these roads] remain drivable and in good repair for years to come,” the governor said in a press release.
Queens elected officials — including state Senator Tony Avella, Assemblyman David Weprin and Councilmen Barry Grodenchik and Paul Vallone — applauded the impending road work.
“These improvements will do a great deal to improve the roadway conditions for the driving public and are especially appreciated in light of the residual effects the past winter has taken on our roadways,” Queens Borough President Melinda Katz added.
The Clearview and Grand Central resurfacing work is slated to be completed by September 2017. Cuomo’s press release did not indicate whether the work would take place during daytime or nighttime hours. QNS reached out to the governor’s office for further details and is awaiting a response.