The state Department of Transportation announced the beginning of a $2.8 million project to create a second travel lane on the southbound Clearview Expressway’s off-ramp at Exit 2 (Union Turnpike).
Construction of the ramp is slated to begin today, Thursday, Jan. 17, which will improve traffic flow and enhance safety. It is scheduled to be completed this summer, according to the DOT.
“Governor Cuomo directed us to identify improvements that will bring big benefits to local communities, and widening this ramp will do just that,” said Paul Karas, the state DOT’s acting commissioner. “Adding a lane here will improve traffic mobility, ease congestion and enhance access to Queens, making it safer and easier for commuters and area businesses to get themselves and their products where they need to go.”
The DOT said the existing single-lane ramp doesn’t adequately accommodate the large volume of traffic using it, creating backups onto the expressway, including trucks making local deliveries.
The Exit 2 ramp will be widened, creating two lanes beginning at the top of the ramp where traffic exits the expressway. At the end of the ramp at Union Turnpike, the left lane will split into two eastbound-turning lanes and the right lane will provide access to westbound Union Turnpike to improve traffic flow, according to the DOT.
The DOT will also improve pedestrian safety installing sidewalk curb ramps compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act at the Union Turnpike intersection. The new drainage structures will be installed where they are needed, while others will be cleaned.
The ramp’s riding surface will be enhanced with an asphalt overlay. Additionally, landscaping improvements will be made, including the planting of a dozen trees and more than 200 shrubs. A new, modern traffic signal will be installed to accommodate the new lane configuration.
Assemblywoman Nily Rozic said Queens residents and commuters will benefit greatly from the infrastructure upgrades that will go a long way in improving traffic congestion.
“I am also pleased to hear that this project prioritizes pedestrian safety in the surrounding area that will be in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act,” said Rozic. “I thank the NYS Department of Transportation for their efforts and look forward to the project’s completion.”