LIE, Cross Island lanes to close for construction

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It is a routine northeast Queens residents may be getting used to: Construction work to reshape the intersection between the Cross Island Parkway and the Long Island Expressway was expected once again to force partial closures of the roadways later this month.

A spokeswoman for the LIE-Cross Island Parkway project said the closures were scheduled for Saturday, June 22, and Saturday, June 29.

On June 22, two lanes of the southbound Cross Island Parkway were to be shuttered, as was one westbound lane of the LIE, spokeswoman Cristina Capurro said. The Cross Island lanes were to be shut from midnight to 8 p.m. Saturday, while the LIE lanes were to be closed from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. that day.

A week later on June 29, Capurro said two northbound Cross Island Parkway lanes were slated for closure from midnight to 8 p.m. On the southbound side of the Cross Island two lanes were to be shut from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. that Saturday. One westbound lane on the LIE also was slated for closure from 5 a.m. to 8 p.m. June 29.

The rebuilding of the Long Island Expressway bridge that goes over the Cross Island Parkway requires the installation of large steel beams, Capurro said, forcing construction workers to take up a lot of space on the highway to install them.

The $112 million LIE-Cross Island Parkway project was conceived as an alternative plan by the state when northeast Queens residents and politicians protested the idea of widening the LIE for High Occupancy Vehicle lanes in 1996. State Sen. Frank Padavan (R-Bellerose) was a major architect of the project.

The project includes the reconstruction of LIE overpasses in Little Neck and Douglaston, and the buildup of West Alley Road to handle traffic that would have used the eastbound Douglaston Parkway exit, which was closed.

The project also was expected to include the addition of 12 acres of parkland to Alley Pond Park, new pedestrian walkways and lighting in the new parkland, the rehabilitation of the old Alley Pond and the permanent closure of the eastbound Douglaston Parkway exit.

Reach reporter Kathianne Boniello by e-mail at Timesledgr@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 146.

Updated 7:06 pm, October 10, 2011
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