The state completed reconstruction of the Briarwood-Van Wyck subway entrance on Tuesday as part of a $265 million project to improve an area where four highways intertwine and 500,000 vehicles pass through every day.
While much of the overall project is focused on reconstructing the Van Wyck Expressway, the Commissioner for the New York State Department of Transportation called the improvements to the subway “critical” to improving commuter flow in an area known as the Kew Gardens Interchange.
“The Kew Gardens Interchange project will enhance traffic mobility, improve travel speeds and reduce travel times for the entire Van Wyck Expressway corridor and for traffic heading to and from JFK Airport,” Commissioner Joan McDonald said. “For the many residents in this area who rely on mass transit, the project also includes improved access to the Briarwood-Van Wyck subway station.”
The new subway entrance for the E and F lines features a glass and stainless steel canopy, a widened staircase, enhanced tunnel lighting and new tile walls and flooring.
Future work on the Briarwood-Van Wyck subway entrance will include new landscaping, sidewalks, concrete pavement, lighting and an elevator.
By 2016, the state hopes to complete a part of the project that would completely reconstruct a half-mile section of the Van Wyck Expressway just south of the Interchange and six bridges over the Van Wyck Expressway.