Albany, NY - September 8, 2014 - Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the start of construction on a $12.8 million project to replace the aging Carlls Straight Path Bridge over the Long Island Expressway, or LIE/I-495, in Dix Hills, Suffolk County. The project, which involves designing and building the bridge, will improve the safety for pedestrians, bicyclists and approximately 180,000 motorists who use the section of the Long Island Expressway each day.
“The Carlls Straight Path Bridge is a vital access point to the Long Island Expressway, and today we’re breaking ground on a project to ensure its safety and reliability for years to come,” Governor Cuomo said. “With new features to better accommodate motorists, pedestrians and bicyclists, and a new design that prevents bridge strikes, these improvements will improve traffic flow on the bridge and the LIE, and – under my Drivers First Initiative – all efforts will be taken to minimize traffic issues during construction.”
The Carlls Straight Path Bridge is being completely replaced with a new, wider span that will feature larger shoulders and sidewalk, and will add a center turn lane that will accommodate more vehicles waiting to turn, reducing congestion during peak travel periods. In addition, the new bridge will have increased vertical clearance above the Long Island Expressway, reducing the possibility of bridge strikes. The project will also include reconstruction of the roadway approaches to the bridge, new traffic signals, signs, guide rails, pavement and pavement markings.
Measures are being taken to minimize congestion and ensure safety and convenience for the entirety of the project. In keeping with Governor Cuomo’s Drivers First Initiative, the existing number of travel lanes will be maintained at all times during construction. Pedestrian access will also be maintained. Any required lane closures on the Long Island Expressway underneath the bridge will only occur during off-peak daytime hours between 10:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. The New York State Department of Transportation has notified State and local officials, school districts and emergency service personnel of the project, and the Department will also provide alerts in advance of upcoming travel lane closures. Off-peak, midday travel lane closures are expected to begin the week of September 8. Drivers are being alerted in advance of these travel lane closures via overhead electronic INFORM signs.
New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Joan McDonald said, “Completely replacing the Carlls Straight Path Bridge with state-of-the-art structural and operational features is one more example of New York’s commitment to providing a safe and balanced transportation infrastructure for all who live, work and visit Long Island. The design-build process expedites the overall project thereby saving time and taxpayer dollars. As part of Governor Cuomo’s Drivers First program, we are ensuring roadwork disruptions are kept to a minimum and that roadwork takes place quickly in order to maintain safe, reliable driving experiences on Long Island.”
Congressman Steve Israel said, “Investing in Long Island’s infrastructure is absolutely vital to our local economy and the livability of our communities. That’s why I’m pleased to hear that NYSDOT will be replacing the Carlls Straight Path Bridge, which will improve safety for motorists, pedestrians and cyclists.”
Senator John Flanagan said, “Improving our region’s infrastructure is a crucial component to rebuilding our economy. This project, which is being accomplished with minimal impact on current traffic, will help our community build for the future, and ensure efficient motor vehicle travel while also taking steps to improve pedestrian and bicycle safety. That is a victory for everyone who utilizes our roads.”
Assemblyman Andrew P. Raia said, “I would like to thank Governor Cuomo and the New York State Department of Transportation for investing in Long Island’s roadway infrastructure. Thousands of Long Islanders utilize the Long Island Expressway daily, and the safety of these motorists is of the utmost importance. I look forward to working together to tackle other infrastructure issues to ensure we are providing New Yorkers with the safest roadways possible.”
Assemblyman Chad Lupinacci said, "The forthcoming repairs for the Carlls Straight Path Bridge are much-needed. These repairs will be taking place in a safe manner and at minimum cost to taxpayers, and I'm pleased to have helped make it happen."
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said, "I want to thank Governor Cuomo for continuing to recognize that investing in Suffolk County's infrastructure today means significant taxpayer savings tomorrow. These improvements to Carlls Straight Path Bridge will help to improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety, something we are always striving to do here in Suffolk County. I once again thank Governor Cuomo and the New York State Department of Transportation for moving forward on this critical Suffolk County infrastructure project."
The design-build team is being led by El Sol Contracting and Construction Corporation of Maspeth, New York, under contract with the New York State Department of Transportation. El Sol was selected through the Best Value procurement method which scores proposals based on cost and a set of value criteria, including the contractor’s technical ability to perform the work. The project is expected to be completed in November 2015.