A multimillion-dollar project to bring drivers a smoother and safer ride on the Long Island Expressway in Queens is nearing completion.
Reconstruction on the three bridges at the Long Island Expressway (LIE)/Grand Central Parkway (GCP) Interchange and improvement work at the Long Island Expressway between the Grand Central Parkway and College Point Boulevard will wrap up this spring, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced this week. The $58 project began in early 2015 and will finish nine months ahead of schedule.
The reconstructed bridges include the LIE mainline over the GCP and the eastbound and westbound LIE service roads over the GCP. Deck and steel structures were replaced and the bridges were widened to create space for shoulders.
On the LIE mainline and service roads, lighting and cable upgrades were installed to increase visibility and save energy. Additional drainage structures were also installed to facilitate stormwater run-off. Finishing work — including pavement restoration, roadway resurfacing and new markings — will be completed in the spring.
Approximately 350,000 vehicles pass through the interchange each day, according to the state Department of Transportation.
“These vital improvements will help ease congestion at this busy interchange for motorists while offering those traveling to LaGuardia Airport and JFK a smoother commute,” Cuomo said. “By modernizing and strengthening Queens’ transportation infrastructure, we help to meet the demands of the 21st-century traveler while spurring economic growth for the entire Empire State.”
Queens lawmakers welcomed news of the improvements.
“Our roads need an urgent injection of investment to ensure they do not continue to deteriorate,” state Senator Jose Peralta said. “We need to accelerate and make the modernization of our infrastructure a priority. The reconstruction of these three bridges at the Long Island Expressway/Grand Central Parkway interchange is a good step toward the goal of modernizing our roads to improve safety. I applaud Governor Cuomo for this and other projects put in place to improve our network of roads.”
Assemblywoman Nily Rozic also thanked Cuomo “for offering traffic relief and smoother commutes for New Yorkers.”
“Strong and resilient transportation infrastructure is critical to spurring local economies, connecting travelers to their destinations and helping move New York forward,” she said.