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Whitestone Bridge lane closes for yearlong work

Ongoing work on the Whitestone Bridge will require one lane of traffic to be closed for a year.
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A yearlong lane closure began last weekend on the Whitestone Bridge as crews moved on to the next stage of the $109 million renovation project.

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Bridges and Tunnels is currently widening and rebuilding six lanes of approach roadway to the bridge as well as installing a shoulder on the span itself while constructing improvements to the 14th Avenue exit.

The work will require crews to close and work on one lane at a time, separating it from the other five with a moveable barrier. According to the MTA, the setup will allow traffic and work to proceed simultaneously.

“Using the movable barrier, we will be able to maintain current roadway capacity during peak driving times to keep traffic flowing,” said Whitestone Bridge Facility Engineer Christopher Saladino. “The movable barrier was successfully used during a similar project to reconstruct and widen the Bronx approach to the bridge.”

Gene Kelty, chairman of Community Board 7, urged any motorists who have problems with the bridge to call the board’s office.

“We know this is an inconvenience, but it has to be done,” he said, adding that the MTA has been very receptive to the board’s concerns regarding the project.

During the morning rush hour from 6 a.m. to 9 a.m., MTA will open three lanes northbound to the Bronx and two southbound into Queens. In the evening from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., they will set up the opposite configuration, with the majority of lanes heading back into the borough.

Drivers hoping to enter Malba Gardens and Whitestone have already faced altered traffic patterns.

In January, the MTA closed the 3rd Avenue exit to accommodate work crews and put up signs directing commuters on detours.

The bridge construction began in 2011 and has already reached several significant milestones, according to the MTA.

For example, contractors E.E. Cruz, of Manhattan, and Tully Construction Co., of Queens, reconstructed the bridge’s support foundations to accommodate for the widened roadway on the Queens side.

A four-year rehab project on the Bronx side was completed by different contractors in late 2012 — two months ahead of schedule.

Last year, the MTA moved Francis Lewis Playground out from the footprint of the new bridge and rebuilt it.

The authority expects the project to be complete in early 2015.

Reach reporter Joe Anuta by e-mail at januta@cnglocal.com or by phone at 718-260-4566.

Updated 10:28 am, June 10, 2013
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Reader feedback

rose pinamonti from whitestone says:
Fix this stupid whitestone bridge so we can get home to our familes before midnight.
Since i've moved to whitestone 9 years ago that all you have been doing fixing this stupid bridge. you should be done by now, rome was build in a day, whitstone bridge is taking 9 years.

after you complete this construction, you are going to start all over again. get it done and leave it alone.
Sept. 12, 2014, 3 pm
angry commuter from Bellmore says:
Enough with this bridge. Construction crews should be ashamed. Bridge was built in three years and these liberal hippie contractors can't repair it in nine. Every day stuck in traffic to hit cip. Even the new world trade is up and open for business and these dopes are still putzing around with paint cans and shifting barriers. Move your asses and complete the job already!
Thank you, be safe and have a nice day.
Nov. 6, 2014, 12:04 pm
connelly from staten Island says:
Parking lot on Thanksgiving Day! Couldn't u w wait until after the holiday!)
Nov. 30, 2014, 8:37 am
2.5 decade daily commuter from Westchester says:
It seems to me that the construction has been going on for more than a decade. I believe some work started in 2001. The lane closure that occurred in Spring 2013 was supposed to last one year. Is anything on schedule? When will this be complete? I appreciate the safety issues of reinforcement and cable replacement, but will it speed traffic?
Dec. 16, 2014, 9:16 pm
Cristina Bright from Brooklyn says:
Its all about money that's why they are prolonging the construction because they need a job so they don't lift up their buts to speed it up, its getting ridiculous!
Jan. 15, 2015, 11:54 am
kathy from stormville says:
Trying to get to airport on time..construction still ongoing, but only no one there?!
April 16, 2015, 11:49 pm
Carlo from Co-Op City the Bronx says:
When are the lights to the bridge at night going to be turned on again? It seems like it's been too many years.
Aug. 12, 2015, 11:45 pm

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