The ongoing $365 million Kew Gardens Interchange reconfiguration project passed another key milestone, Governor Kathy Hochul announced Friday, Oct. 8.
Construction has been completed on two new ramps that will enhance safety and reduce congestion along the heavily traveled commuter corridor used by hundreds of thousands of motorists to reach JFK Airport and other key destinations in eastern Queens and Long Island.
“The completion of these ramps is another step forward in the ongoing improvement of Queens’ transportation infrastructure,” Queens Borough President Donovan Richards said. “Motorists who use these ramps will now experience safer and smoother rides thanks to their reconfiguration. The Kew Gardens Interchange project is a vitally important undertaking for our borough’s transportation network.”
The Kew Gardens Interchange is the complex intersection of the Grand Central Parkway, the Van Wyck Expressway, the Jackie Robinson Parkway and Union Turnpike, serving more than 200,000 vehicles daily.
“For far too long the bottleneck caused by the convergence of several major traffic arteries, have been a major headache and source of frustration for motorists,” state Senator Leroy Comrie said. “As we continue to find ways to improve safety and reduce emissions, I am pleased that the completion of these new ramps will allow Queens drivers as well as visitors to the ‘World’s Borough,’ better access and mobility to JFK and other parts of the city.”
The new ramp leading from westbound Union Turnpike to westbound Grand Central Parkway eliminates the need for drivers to come to a complete stop before entering the parkway, allowing traffic to merge more efficiently and reducing congestion on both roadways.
The new ramp from eastbound Jackie Robinson Parkway at Exit 8W to the westbound Grand Central Parkway was redesigned to reduce a significant curve that had previously existed on Exit 8W. The ramp, which is carried on a new bridge structure, has standard lane and shoulder widths, which did not exist before.
“The completion of these two ramps bring much-needed relief to the hundreds of thousands of daily drivers on the Kew Gardens Interchange,” state Senator Joseph Addabbo said. “Motorists no longer need to worry about the construction going on in that area creating detours and confusion, and drivers will be thankful that the new ramps will ease congestion on these major roadways.”
Additionally, work on the rehabilitated Jackie Robinson Parkway Exit 8E to the eastbound Grand Central Parkway has also been completed.
“As I have said, continued investment in our local roads and highways is crucial, particularly as we seek to upgrade our infrastructure and build back better,” Congresswoman Grace Meng said. “The completion of these new ramps, and the resulting improvements in safety and congestion reduction, will enhance travel for Queens residents, and all those who use this stretch of highway.”