Governor announces completion of new ramps at Kew Gardens Interchange

Governor Andrew Cuomo says back-ups in the Kew Gardens Interchange will improve with the completion of two new exit ramps on the thoroughfare. (QNS file photo)

Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the completion of two new exit ramps at the Kew Gardens Interchange that will enhance safety and reduce congestion at the infamous bottleneck.

The new ramps were constructed as part of the state Department of Transportation’s ongoing $365 million project to enhance safety at the confluence of the Grand Central Parkway, the Van Wyck Expressway, the Jackie Robinson Parkway and Utopia Turnpike.

“We are not only rebuilding our infrastructure across New York, but building it back better and creating a 21st-century transportation network that will allow our economy to flourish,” Cuomo said. “These new ramps, along with other improvements we are making as part of the Kew Gardens Interchange project, will enhance safety and ease travel through one of the most complex and heavily traveled corridors in New York City, keeping people and goods on the move for many years to come.”

The new eastbound Grand Central Parkway Exit 13W ramp creates a new, easier to navigate traffic pattern for motorists heading to JFK International Airport and other destinations. The new southbound Van Wyck Expressway Exit 7 ramp provides access to westbound Jackie Robinson Parkway, westbound Union Turnpike and Queens Boulevard.

“Congestion has blighted the Kew Gardens Interchange and caused headaches for drivers and folks in the surrounding neighborhoods, so I’m glad to see significant progress being made at alleviating that chronic issue while improving safety,” state Senator Leroy Comrie said. “My thanks to Governor Cuomo and the state Department of Transportation for their continued focus on enhancing the Kew Gardens Interchange.”

The new Exit 13W ramp removed a notorious bottleneck that had existed because motorists on the eastbound Grand Central Parkway had to access the westbound Jackie Robinson Parkway via a ramp that was in close proximity to the ramp connecting the Grand Central Parkway to JFK and the southbound Van Wyck.

Under the new traffic pattern, the Exit 13W ramp has been relocated from the right side of the parkway to the left and moved approximately a quarter mile east of its previous location.

Motorists wanting to access westbound Jackie Robinson Parkway from eastbound Grand Central Parkway will now remain in the left lane as the old Exit 13W ramp is closed.

The relocation of the Exit 13W ramp and the elimination of a stop sign where eastbound Grand Central Parkway merged with westbound Jackie Robinson Parkway will significantly enhance traffic flow and reduce congestion, state Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr. said.

“This project will allow motorists, both local and tourists, to navigate through our borough easier and with better access to John F. Kennedy International Airport and other destinations in Queens,” Addabbo said.

Construction on the project is expected to be fully completed next year.