Second phase begins for Verrazano Bridge repairs
Drivers will have to pay extra attention on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge now that a major reconstruction project has entered its next phase.
MTA (Metropolitan Transportation Authority) Bridges and Tunnels announced that the second stage of construction work in a $235.7 million project to replace the 51-year-old bridge’s upper deck began on Aug. 29.
The first phase of the project began in March of this year and was recently completed.
For the duration of the second phase of the project, all current lanes of traffic will continue to be maintained during peak weekday morning and afternoon drive times, according to the MTA, which indicated that a moveable barrier will be used to mark the lanes.
Brooklyn-bound traffic will have to deal with a reduced stretch of isolated lane traffic, known as a “cattle chute,” during morning rush hours. A similar lane formation will be in use on the Staten Island-bound side of the bridge in the afternoon.
From Monday to Friday, three lanes to Brooklyn will be open from 5 to 9:30 a.m. Three lanes to Staten Island will be open in the afternoon from 2:30 to 10 p.m.
On Fridays, three lanes into Staten Island will be open from 1 p.m. to midnight.
The weekend configuration on the upper level will have three Staten Island-bound lanes and two Brooklyn-bound lanes.
Drivers who need to access the Belt Parkway’s Brooklyn-bound ramp from the upper level in the morning must use the left-hand lane of the bridge. Signs are in place to direct drivers to the dedicated lane, according to the MTA.
Drivers can also utilize the lower level of the bridge, which will have three available lanes in each direction during peak traffic times. But the MTA warned that additional lanes on both levels may be closed to facilitate construction during off-peak travel times.
The Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, which connects Brooklyn and Staten Island, sees 180,000 vehicles on an average day, an MTA spokeswoman told the Brooklyn Eagle via email on Monday. The bridge opened in 1964.
The upper-level roadway construction project is expected to continue through the summer of 2017. The MTA spokeswoman said that the agency does not have a date when the project is expected to be completed.
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