Governor Kathy Hochul has announced that work has begun on projects to enhance safety and ease congestion along the Long Island Expressway (Interstate 495) in Queens and Long Island. Construction has begun on a $19.7 million project that will lengthen three acceleration lanes and three deceleration lanes. Three auxiliary lanes will also be added between 48th Street and Little Neck Parkway in Queens, improving traffic flow and allowing motorists additional space to exit and enter the highway.
Two additional projects, worth more than $80 million, will be awarded to contractors later this fall will replace approximately 287 lane miles of pavement on key stretches of the Long Island Expressway in Suffolk County, further improving mobility along the commuter artery used by hundreds of thousands of motorists each day travelling between Long Island and New York City.
"Investment in our state's transportation infrastructure is critical for the continued expansion of a thriving economy." Governor Hochul said, "These much needed upgrades will ease congestion and enhance safety along one of the most heavily utilized vehicle corridors in New York State."
As part of the Queens project, exit and entrance ramps will be extended by approximately 370 feet. Other safety enhancements include the addition of traffic impact attenuators (crash cushions) designed to reduce collision damage to structures, vehicles and motorists at seven exit and three entrance ramps. Additionally, new marker signs will be installed on or near bridge columns and walls along the roadway throughout the project limits and new reflective markers will be placed along a curved segment near Utopia Parkway to enhance visibility for motorists.
The project will also install new guiderail or concrete barriers with reflective markers at each new acceleration, deceleration, and auxiliary lane location. Three overhead sign structures at the westbound Long Island Expressway at Exit 22B (College Point Boulevard), Exit 23 (Main Street), and on the eastbound side at Exit 24 (Kissena Boulevard) will also be replaced.
Acceleration lanes will be extended at the following locations along the expressway in Queens:
- The eastbound entrance ramp at Kissena Boulevard.
- The eastbound entrance ramp at Utopia Parkway.
- The westbound entrance ramp at Utopia Parkway.
Deceleration lanes will be extended at the following locations along the expressway in Queens:
- The westbound exit ramp to Kissena Boulevard (Exit 24).
- The eastbound exit ramp to Utopia Parkway (Exit 25).
- The westbound exit ramp to Francis Lewis Boulevard (Exit 28).
Westbound auxiliary lanes will be built from the Main Street entrance ramp to the College Point Boulevard exit ramp (Exit 22B) and from the Kissena Boulevard entrance ramp to the Main Street exit ramp (Exit 23). An eastbound auxiliary lane will be built from the Main Street entrance ramp to the Kissena Boulevard exit ramp (Exit 24). Work is expected to be completed by summer of 2023.
Later this fall, two contracts will be awarded to renew approximately 287 lane miles of pavement along the LIE in Suffolk County from the Nassau/Suffolk Line to Route 112.