$739 million Kew Gardens interchange reconstruction complete

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New York Construction Report staff writer

The $739 million Kew Gardens Interchange reconstruction in Queens is completed, marking the end of a multi-phase project to revamp a transportation corridor. Several challenges stemming from the structural and operational deficiencies of the old infrastructure were addressed.

“The transformation of this vital interchange near one of New York’s major airports is the latest accomplishment in our efforts to modernize the state’s transportation network,” Hochul said. “The complete overhaul of Kew Gardens Interchange will provide a safer, less congested network of roads – improving the travel experience for nearly 600,000 daily motorists, enhancing quality of life, and boosting the regional economy for decades to come.”

Construction included 22 new bridges, three rehabilitated bridges, wider travel lanes, new lane configurations, updated signage, upgraded stormwater drainage and a new dedicated shared use path for pedestrians and bicyclists.

Several structural and operational improvements were completed through four construction contracts at the interchange.

Phase IV created an acceleration lane on the ramp from westbound Union Turnpike to westbound Grand Central Parkway and also eliminated a stop sign where these two roads meet.

The project also improved at-grade ramp connections between the Grand Central Parkway, Union Turnpike, Jackie Robinson Parkway, southbound Van Wyck Expressway and northbound Van Wyck Expressway roadways with standard-width shoulders, to allow for safer operations. Reconstruction of the single lane ramp from southbound Van Wyck Expressway to westbound Jackie Robinson Parkway created a standard-width lane and standard-width shoulder for safer operations.

The project further reconstructed the storm water drainage system to mitigate the existing roadway flooding, specifically along Grand Central Parkway, Union Turnpike and Jackie Robinson Parkway.

“The successful overhaul of the Kew Gardens Interchange, located just outside Queens Borough Hall, is a significant achievement and a major milestone in our continued push to modernize Queens’ transportation infrastructure,” said Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, Jr.

Phase I:

  • widening a portion of the Van Wyck Expressway and rehabilitating the exit ramp from the northbound Van Wyck to westbound Queens Boulevard
  • four bridges over the Van Wyck, the Van Wyck Bridge over Main Street, and the Queens Boulevard Bridge over Main Street
  • constructing auxiliary lanes on both the northbound and southbound Van Wyck between the Grand Central Parkway and Main Street and provided a dedicated exit lane southbound to Hillside Avenue

Phase II:

  • new, wider northbound Van Wyck Expressway viaduct
  • replaced the one-lane entrance ramp connecting the Jackie Robinson Parkway and Union Turnpike with the northbound Van Wyck Expressway with a new two-lane ramp
  • new deck installed on the eastbound Union Turnpike bridge over the Grand Central Parkway
  • connector ramps, and a new deck and steel girders were installed on the bridge where Union Turnpike and the Jackie Robinson Parkway merge

Phase III:

  • replaced deteriorated two-lane Van Wyck Expressway southbound viaduct over Grand Central Parkway with a continuous three-lane viaduct and constructed new exits to the westbound Union Turnpike and the Jackie Robinson Parkway1

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