New RFK Bridge Exit Ramp to E125th Street Opens Ahead of Schedule

New RFK off-ramp at 125th Street
Manhattan-bound traffic exiting the RFK Bridge Harlem River Lift Span can now use the newly constructed East 125th Street exit ramp, which opened ahead of schedule earlier this month.
Drivers had been using an adjacent temporary exit ramp since November 2015, while the original 1930s ramp was demolished and replaced with a reinforced concrete structure and steel roadway supports. The work was completed in less than eleven months, about a month ahead of schedule.
“The earlier than anticipated ramp reopening is a welcome milestone in this project, which is part of the multi-year $1 billion Capital Program investment in our flagship 80-year-old bridge,” said MTA Bridges and Tunnels President Donald Spero.
The shift from the temporary ramp to the new exit ramp took place with relative ease during the off-peak hours on Tuesday, October 4, when the RFK Harlem span was closed for brief intermittent periods to accommodate the operation.
“Construction of this new ramp was efficiently planned, designed, executed and completed with minimal impact to customers thanks to use of the temporary ramp, with no loss of traffic lanes,” explained MTA Bridges and Tunnels Vice President and Chief Engineer Joe Keane.
The contract for reconstruction of the RFK Manhattan approach ramps was awarded to Defoe Corp., of Mount Vernon, New York, for $69 million. This project entails major rehabilitation or replacement of the off-ramp, as well as the on-ramp from E.125th Street, which will be completed by November 2017 or sooner. Construction for some of the pier foundations for a future direct connection from the bridge to the northbound Harlem River Drive is also part of this project, and construction of the remaining pier foundations is being coordinated with the New York City Department of Transportation project on the Harlem River Drive viaduct.
The Robert F. Kennedy Bridge (formerly Triborough), is comprised of three separate bridges and 14 miles of roadway which connects Manhattan, Queens and Bronx, and carries an average 170,000 vehicles daily. It opened on July 11, 1936.