MTA Press Releases

Press Release
May 8, 2015
Bronx-Whitestone Queens Approach Reconstruction Project Completed With Reopening of Third Avenue Exit

MTA Bridges and Tunnels said Friday that the Third Avenue exit, which had been closed to allow for construction since January 2013, is now open with only minor work remaining at the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge Queens approach. The $109 million Capital project to reconstruct and rehabilitate the approach roadway and its supporting structure reached substantial completion on schedule this past January.  

One of the final remaining tasks of the project included the rehabilitation of the Third Avenue exit ramp, which was reopened to traffic after morning rush hour today.

“After a $500 million Capital investment that has included replacement of the suspended span decks with a lighter, steel orthotropic deck, and the complete replacement of both the Queens and Bronx approach roadways, the Bronx-Whitestone Bridge has undergone a significant modernization and will serve our customers for many decades to come,” said MTA Bridges and Tunnels Vice President and Chief Engineer Joe Keane.

The 3½-year project included total reconstruction of the bridge’s approach in Queens; the new structure features wider 12-foot roadway lanes and safety shoulders.  Work involved demolition and reconstruction of 1,010 feet of all six Queens approach roadway lanes; relocation of the old Francis Lewis Park playground beneath the bridge to a grassy area within the park, with all new playground equipment; and rehabilitation of the Third Avenue exit ramp.

Traffic was maintained throughout the project while each lane was demolished and rebuilt by using a movable barrier, which allowed for the normal three lanes of traffic heading into the Bronx during peak morning drive times and three lanes into Queens during afternoon drive times.  

In addition to rehabilitating the Third Avenue exit ramp with a new riding surface, new drainage, striping and lighting, MTA Bridges and Tunnels added several safety modifications to the exit ramp, including a new traffic safety crash cushion, mountable curbs and a new guiderail.  “MTA Bridges and Tunnels worked very closely with the local communities and various state and city agencies over the past several years to ensure that the many safety upgrades were included in this project and implemented,” said Bronx-Whitestone Bridge Facility Engineer Christopher Saladino.

The project, which began in July 2011, was awarded as a joint venture project to E.E. Cruz of Manhattan and Tully Construction Company of Queens.