The next phase of work in the $109 million Bronx-Whitestone Bridge’s Queens approach project is scheduled to begin, requiring an around-the-clock closure of one approach roadway lane for approximately a year.
The new traffic pattern is scheduled to go into effect on Saturday, June 1 and will be in place for the first weekday morning rush on Mon., June 3.
A movable barrier will be used to maintain three traffic lanes northbound to the Bronx during peak morning drive times from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m. and southbound to Queens in the afternoon from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. while lane-by-lane demolition and reconstruction of the 1,010-foot-long approach is done. On weekends, three lanes will be in place to Queens and two lanes to the Bronx. The work will begin in the far right, northbound lane.
“Using the movable barrier we will be able to maintain current roadway capacity during peak driving times to keep traffic flowing,” said Bronx-Whitestone Bridge Facility Engineer Christopher Saladino. The movable barrier was successfully used during a similar project to reconstruct and widen the Bronx approach to the bridge.
The work includes reconstructing and widening all six lanes of the approach roadway, adding new safety shoulders for the first time, and rehabilitating the southbound 14th Avenue exit ramp, including widening, and adding new curbing and a deceleration lane.
“We will continue our practice of reaching out to local elected officials and community groups to help keep them informed as the project progresses,” said Director of Bridges East Raymond Webb.
The project was awarded jointly to E.E. Cruz, of Manhattan, and Tully Construction Co., in July 2011 and is expected to be completed in early 2015. The contractor has finished reconstructing the bridge’s support foundations; adding six double arch piers and new abutment to support the roadway's wider, 12-foot lanes and safety shoulders. The playground in Francis Lewis Park that was beneath the bridge was also moved and reconstructed, adding new playground equipment.
The four-year Bronx approach project, which covered 1,785-feet of elevated roadway, was completed two months ahead of schedule in September 2012.