The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) in New York wrapped up 2020 with the successful completion of major improvement projects at the Robert F. Kennedy, Verrazzano-Narrows, Bronx-Whitestone, Throgs Neck, and Henry Hudson Bridges—all ahead of schedule.
“Our workforce, our partners in organized labor, and the contractors were able to turn the difficult conditions of 2020 to our advantage and accelerate projects while fewer people and vehicles were on the road during the Covid crisis,” Janno Lieber, President of MTA Construction & Development, said in a statement. “These projects are great examples of how our team is never losing sight of safety as we work in new ways to get the job done more quickly and at lower cost.”
A new ramp connecting the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge to the Harlem River Drive opened in November, a month ahead of schedule. The new ramp ends a detour through East Harlem streets that has persisted for more than 62 years since the Harlem River Drive's initial segment was opened in 1958. It is expected to avert 2,500 tons of greenhouse gas emissions while saving daily commuters nine hours a year in driving time.
In December, the MTA completed a critical stage of Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge deck reconstruction five months ahead of schedule as part of a major project to replace the upper level Brooklyn approach to the bridge from the Gowanus Expressway. The early completion of this work was another successful milestone of the Governor’s NY Forward acceleration initiative along with the completed addition in October of a fourth lane to the Verrazzano’s eastbound Gowanus approach.
Crews completed roadway reconstruction of the Henry Hudson’s southbound bridge approach, in November, part of a 45-month, $86 million project to modernize the bridge. The project included replacement of the last remaining sections of the bridge’s original 1930s-era roadway deck, and removal of columns and toll islands from the former toll plaza on the lower-level roadway. The project was originally expected to be completed at the end of January 2021.
A major traffic safety improvement project at the Whitestone Bridge was completed in June, four weeks ahead of schedule. The new construction provides improved access to the Whitestone Expressway and Cross Island Parkway, a full-width right shoulder, new guide rails, a new LED roadway lighting system, and a new overhead sign structure. The project team finished the work in eight weeks, capitalizing on the lower traffic volumes during the COVID-19 pandemic.
In September, MTA Construction & Development advanced a vital roadway replacement project on the Throgs Neck Bridge. Crews put new traffic pattern and moveable barriers in place to ready the more-than-60-year-old concrete roadway to be replaced by a new steel roadway that will improve the seismic and wind performance of the bridge.
SOURCE: Metropolitan Transportation Authority