STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — A project to improve traffic flow from the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge onto the eastbound Gowanus Expressway is expected to be completed this month, two months ahead of the project’s initially anticipated end date.
The new roadway improvements are expected to reduce congestion for the 60,000-plus daily vehicles that travel from the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge onto the Gowanus Expressway, a six-mile portion of I-278 that runs from the bridge to the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel/Brooklyn-Queens Expressway Interchange.
“This project is an example of how MTA Construction & Development is completing projects faster and cheaper than ever before, even amidst the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Janno Lieber, president of MTA Construction & Development.
Under the previous roadway configuration, two lanes from the lower level and two lanes from the upper level converged near 92nd onto the Gowanus Expressway before dropping from four lanes to three lanes east of the 92nd Street exit.
The project has since added a fourth eastbound lane on the Gowanus Expressway from the Verrazzano-Bridge to the Fort Hamilton Parkway exit, eliminating the lane drop, in a move that the MTA estimates could reduce collisions by 20% along the route.
Additionally, the Fort Hamilton Parkway exit has been expanded from one lane to two.
The congestion-reducing benefits of the project are expected to collectively save motorists an estimated 1,000 hours daily and more than 360,000 travel time hours annually, resulting in the elimination of 1,500 tons of carbon emissions each year.
“I am excited for drivers who travel on the Verrazzano for access to Brooklyn and Manhattan to experience these improvements that will save them time, and make their journeys safer,” said Daniel DeCrescenzo, president of MTA Bridges and Tunnels. “And I want to thank the city and state agencies who worked with the MTA to finish this part of the project ahead of schedule.”
While work on all lane changes has been completed, new signage will continue to be installed through the end of the month along the westbound roadway of the Gowanus Expressway approaching the Staten Island-bound Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge, including variable electronic message signs and advance lane-use signals.