Bay Ridge

MTA to open new ramp on Verrazano-Narrows Bridge

July 21, 2015 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Drivers will find a new ramp leading from the Belt Parkway to the Staten Island-bound lanes of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge starting July 22, according to the MTA. Eagle file photo by Rick Buttacavoli
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Motorists will have to get used to a new entrance ramp to get on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge from the Belt Parkway starting this week.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) Bridges and Tunnels announced that a new ramp connecting the Belt Parkway to the Staten Island-bound lower level of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge is set to open on July 22.

The ramp is part of the $84.3 million project to construct a new lane for buses and high-occupancy vehicles (HOV) that will eventually connect to the bus/HOV lane on the Gowanus Expressway.

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An important note for motorists: the new ramp will require you to exit from the right lane of the approach ramp instead of the left lane.

Electronic and fixed signs will be placed to advise drivers about the new traffic pattern, according to the MTA.

“As with all new traffic patterns, it may take motorists several weeks to get used to the change. During this time we ask them to be alert and heed the signs,” said Wiliam McCann, MTA director of Bridges South.

The work on the Brooklyn ramp and the new bus/HOV lane will be the final pieces of a project to establish a continuous bus/HOV lane from the Staten Island Expressway all the way to the Hugh L. Carey Tunnel in Brooklyn.

“These two projects will greatly improve traffic flow and regional mobility for this busy corridor,” Verrazano-Narrows Facility Engineer David Riggs said.

Both the new bus/HOV ramp on the Brooklyn side of the bridge and the new lane are expected to be completed by 2017, according to the MTA.

Currently, motorists coming from the Belt Parkway get on the bridge’s lower level by using the left lane. Under the permanent change, they will now access the lower level of the bridge heading into Staten Island by using the right lane. Drivers using the upper level of the bridge will stay in the left lane.

“This permanent reconstruction of the Belt Parkway ramp leading onto the bridge will give motorists improved access to the lower level and facilitate the construction of the new bus/HOV ramp,” Project Engineer Agnes Zulinska said.

Both of the westbound Belt Parkway ramps are being reconstructed under this project and when the project is finished there will be wider lanes and new safety shoulders on both ramps, MTA officials said.

The construction contract for the new bus/HOV ramp and connector ramps was awarded to El Sol Construction, of Queens. Building the new ramp involves constructing 25 new pier columns, ranging in size from 20 to 100 feet tall.

 


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