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Work Progressing At New RFK Harlem River Drive Ramp

Motorists who use the Harlem River Drive can see the progress being made as a brand new ramp from the southbound Harlem River Drive, leading onto the RFK Bridge, is beginning to take shape.

These photos show metal stay forms as the contractor prepares for the new concrete roadway to be added, work being done on the ramp's platform and railings, and new galvanized floor beams and stringers being put in place, near what will become the mid-section of the ramp.

Photo of Harlem River Drive Ramp ConstructionPhoto of Harlem River Drive Ramp Construction
Left to right: Taken prior to the installation of the last remaining stringers where the Harlem River Drive ramp meets the northbound FDR on ramp to the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge; New galvanized floor beams and stringers in place.
Photo of Harlem River Drive Ramp ConstructionPhoto of Harlem River Drive Ramp Construction
Left to right: Stay in place metal forms for the new concrete roadway deck, and new railings in place; Work progresses up the ramp to where it will meet the northbound FDR entrance ramp to the RFK Bridge.

Before work on the $12.4 million project began, a temporary ramp was built, giving motorists access to the RFK Bridge ramp at 125th Street after a brief detour through local streets.

The project was accelerated after a recent inspection of the nearly 50-year-old ramp showed severe deterioration, due in part to its age and the result of several harsh winters. "We reached a point where it was no longer possible to just keep patching," said RFK Facility Engineer Rocco D'Angelo. "The ramp has reached the end of its useful life and needs to be replaced before another winter approaches."

The contract was awarded to Defoe contractors of Mount Vernon, N.Y. The new ramp is expected to be completed by December.

This project is part of the nearly $1 billion in capital improvements planned over the next 15 years for the sprawling Robert F. Kennedy Bridge, which connects Manhattan, the Bronx and Queens and serves a combined average of 170,000 vehicles daily.