Officials with New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority unveiled plans for a new bus and carpool lane on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, which they say would cut commuting times from Staten Island to Lower Manhattan by at least 15 minutes.
The effort would mark the first such restricted lane on any MTA bridge or tunnel, and would complete a corridor of mass-transit lanes from Staten Island north to the mouth of the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel.
Under the current plans, the $300 million project would make room for the new lane in the midst of the six existing lanes on the bridge’s upper level. A movable barrier would be put in place to make the lane reversible; this would allow it to accommodate inbound traffic in the morning and outbound traffic in the evening.
Construction crews would also add new ramps at both ends of the bridge. One would connect to the HOV lane on the Gowanus Expressway while the other would help buses coming from Father Capodanno Boulevard on Staten Island avoid having to cross multiple lanes of traffic at the toll plaza.
The MTA expects work to commence this year, with an eye on completion in 2017.