A $109 million contract was awarded to E.E. Cruz of Manhattan and Tully Construction Co. of Queens in a joint venture project that includes reconstruction and widening the 1,010-foot-long Queens approach roadway structure, adding emergency breakdown lanes and moving and rebuilding a local playground beneath the bridge.
The original estimate for the project was $179 million but because of a favorable bid climate, the final amount was reduced by more than 35 percent. The work is similar to an ongoing project on the Bronx end of the bridge, which is expected to be completed by 2012.
“There will be a lot of activity going on at the bridge for the next several years,” said Facility Engineer Christopher Saladino. “We appreciate our customers’ patience while we do this important work, which in the long-run will improve traffic flow and provide a smoother driving experience for all who use the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge.”
The project highlights include the relocation of Francis Lewis Park to be reopened with all new equipment by spring 2012, the reconstruction of the bridge’s support foundation and seven double-arch concrete piers to support the roadway’s wider, 12-foot lanes.
Lane by lane demolition and constant roadwork will require a permanent lane closure for approximately a year, according to the MTA. A movable barrier will be used to maintain traffic flow during peak morning and afternoon drive times. Work is expected to begin on the project in fall 2011 with the final stage completed in 2014.