Projects to enhance safety on Long Island Expressway to begin in New York

A $19.7 million project will lengthen three acceleration lanes and three deceleration lanes

October 22, 2021 / 2 minute read
highway safety

Work has begun on projects to enhance safety and ease congestion along the Long Island Expressway (I-495) in Queens and Long Island in New York State.

Highway construction has begun on a $19.7 million project that will lengthen three acceleration lanes and three deceleration lanes. Three auxiliary lanes will also be added between 48th Street and Little Neck Parkway in Queens, improving traffic flow and allowing motorists additional space to exit and enter the highway. 

Two additional projects, worth more than $80 million, will be awarded to contractors later this fall will replace approximately 287 lane miles of pavement on key stretches of the Long Island Expressway in Suffolk County, further improving mobility along the commuter artery used by hundreds of thousands of motorists each day traveling between Long Island and New York City, according to a news release from Gov. Kathy Hochul's office.

"The safety of the traveling public is our top priority at the New York State Department of Transportation and these projects will help facilitate safe travel on this critical artery," New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez said in a statement. "New York State is committed to building back our infrastructure to create a more resilient transportation network that meets the demands of the 21st century and allows our communities to flourish."

As part of the Queens project, exit and entrance ramps will be extended by approximately 370 ft. Other safety enhancements include the addition of traffic impact attenuators (crash cushions) designed to reduce collision damage to structures, vehicles, and motorists at seven exit and three entrance ramps. Additionally, new marker signs will be installed on or near bridge columns and walls along the roadway throughout the project limits and new reflective markers will be placed along a curved segment near Utopia Parkway to enhance visibility for motorists.  

The project will also install new guiderail or concrete barriers with reflective markers at each new acceleration, deceleration, and auxiliary lane location. Three overhead sign structures at the westbound Long Island Expressway at Exit 22B (College Point Boulevard), Exit 23 (Main Street), and on the eastbound side at Exit 24 (Kissena Boulevard) will also be replaced.

More information can be found on the New York State Governor's website.

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SOURCE: Office of Gov. Kathy Hochul

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