Motorists who travel to Randall's Island for work or play will be able to use a newly constructed exit ramp, leading from the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge onto the island beginning Monday, April 5th. The ramp is located approximately a half–mile past the Bronx toll plaza heading southbound to Queens.
The ramp is important because it will allow drivers better access to the island, improve traffic flow and relieve congestion at other points on the bridge. Motorists coming from the Bronx will proceed straight through the Queens–bound Bronx toll plaza and exit to Randall's Island using the ramp on the right, which touches down near the park grounds and newly constructed ball fields. In the past, drivers had to cross multiple lanes of traffic at the Manhattan toll plaza to access the island.
Koch Skanska was the contractor for the ramp construction, which cost approximately $20 million to build and is part of a 10–year, $275 million overall rehabilitation project at the bridge. Other beneficial features of the ramp include skid–resistant surfacing and rumble strips, which encourage drivers to slow down as they approach the Randall's Island roadway.
From a recreational standpoint the new ramp comes at a fitting time, as it's centrally located near a majority of the playing fields, many of which are being refurbished and expanded by the Randall's Island Sports Foundation. The sports season gets into full swing during April, in addition to cultural events such as summer concerts and Cirque du Soleil. According to the Foundation, there are some 700,000 annual visitors to Randall's Island, which is technically part of Manhattan. For more information on island events visit: www.risf.org.
The sprawling, three–span Triborough Bridge, which opened to traffic on July 11, 1936, was renamed after the late Senator Robert F. Kennedy in November 2008. The bridge carries a total of more than 160,000 vehicles daily to Manhattan, Queens, the Bronx and Randall's Island.
MTA Bridges and Tunnels' facilities, which connect the five boroughs of New York City, are the Robert. F. Kennedy, Throgs Neck, Bronx–Whitestone, Henry Hudson, Verrazano–Narrows, Cross Bay Veterans Memorial and Marine Parkway–Gil Hodges Bridges, and the Queens Midtown and Brooklyn–Battery Tunnels.