New Lower Level Ramp Opens At Verrazano-Narrows
The first new ramp added to the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge since it was built in the 1960s is now open to traffic. The two-lane lower level connector ramp, which begins on the Staten Island Expressway and leads to the Brooklyn-bound lower level of the bridge, is part of MTA Bridges and Tunnels’ $50 million toll plaza improvement project.
The ramp, which opened to traffic on June 18, is expected to immediately improve traffic flow through the busy I-278 corridor by accommodating more traffic from the Staten Island Expressway, said MTA Bridges and Tunnels Engineer Project Manager Piv Lim. “We expect motorists will notice this positive change right away,” Lim said.
Two other recently reconstructed Bridges and Tunnels ramps, Narrows Road South and Lily Pond Avenue, fly-over the new lower level connector ramp. All three are eastbound ramps leading to Brooklyn.
Contractor Restani Corp., of Queens, will continue to rehabilitate the approach to the bridge across what was once the Brooklyn-bound toll plaza. The original toll plaza roadway, originally designed for stop and go traffic, is being realigned to accommodate traffic that no longer has to stop. The contractor will also remove the existing steel sign gantry at the split to the upper and the lower level of the bridge and install two new sign gantries. The project also includes a new roadway drainage system and all new lighting.
While this work is being done, months motorists using the Narrows Road South ramp to Brooklyn will only have access to the upper level of the bridge. Motorists using the Lily Pond ramp will still be able to access either level of the bridge. Trucks and vehicles carrying hazardous materials must continue to use the upper level of the bridge only.
The project, which is 75 percent completed, is scheduled to be finished in early 2015. To see more photos of the work as it progressed click here.