By Bill Parry
Motorists might want to avoid the area around the Queens Center mall in Elmhurst this weekend as the city Department of Transportation makes necessary repairs on the Woodhaven Boulevard Bridge beginning Friday at 11 p.m. The project requires the full closure of Queens Boulevard’s main roadway between 57th Avenue and 62nd Drive until 5 a.m. Monday.
While the boulevard will be closed in both directions, along with the exit ramp from the westbound Long Island Expressway, service roads will remain open but parking will be restricted. Variable message signs will be in place and other measures will be taken to advise motorists about the repairs and road closure, according to the DOT.
“This weekend’s closure allows NYC DOT to effectively mobilize resources to inspect and then remove elements of the façade of the structure that have become loose over time, a DOT spokesman said. “It is important to note that the condition of the actual structure behind the façade is not in question. In an abundance of caution, and in recognition of DOT’s commitment to public safety, this important work has been scheduled quickly and also to minimize the traffic impacts particularly before the Labor Day weekend and the return of typical post-summer traffic volumes.”
The DOT has mobilized work crews to resurface roadways in several neighborhoods including Jackson Heights, Sunnyside and Astoria ahead of what the Farmer’s Almanac is predicting as a “brutal winter” in the northeast.
“Queens Road Repair and Maintenance crews are currently paving in the western Queens Community Boards, and there has been an increase in the amount of paving being done,” the spokesman said. “We are looking to pave approximately 180 lane miles in these boards, which represent a 12 percent increase from the previous Fiscal Year. The paving is being done in advance of winter. The additional paving will help improve the state of good repair of our roadways as well as provide motorists with smoother streets to ride upon in the Queens borough.”
Reach reporter Bill Parry by e-mail at bparr