The $58 million reconstruction of three bridges at the interchange of the Long Island Expressway and Grand Central Parkway has been completed, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday.
The work began in the spring of 2015 and included highway improvements on the LIE between GCP and College Point Boulevard in Queens.
Traffic entered its final pattern this week, nine months ahead of schedule, and the project will be fully completed by spring. About 350,000 vehicles use the GCP/LIE interchange on a daily basis.
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“These vital improvements will help ease congestion at this busy interchange for motorists while offering those traveling to LaGuardia and JFK a smoother commute,” Cuomo said in a statement. “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.”
The bridges that were reconstructed as part of the project include the LIE mainline over the GCP and eastbound and westbound LIE service roads over the parkway. Replacing decks and steel structures for all three bridges, bridge widening and adding shoulders to the bridges were also part of the project.
Additionally, to help reduce gridlock, the westbound entrance lane from the Van Wyck Expressway to the westbound LIE has been extended to give motorists more time and space to merge.
Lighting along the LIE mainline and service roads between College Point Boulevard and the GCP and beneath the LIE and GCP have also been upgraded to new, energy-saving LED lighting. Enhancements were also made to drainage structures to facilitate stormwater runoff.
Installing concrete barriers, restoring pavement and resurfacing roadways, including from 112th Street to east of College Point Boulevard, are part of the work left to complete the project this spring.