New York Governor Announces Start of Work at Long Island Expressway

Governor Hochul Announces Start of Work to Increase Capacity and Enhance Safety of the Long Island Expressway

New York (STL.News) Governor Kathy Hochul 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.

State Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez said, “The safety of the traveling public is our top priority at the New York State Department of Transportation and these projects will help facilitate safe travel on this critical artery.  New York State is committed to building back our infrastructure to create a more resilient transportation network that meets the demands of the 21st century and allows our communities to flourish.”

Queens Borough President Donovan Richards, Jr. said, “The overall safety of our streets and the modernization of our aging transportation infrastructure go hand-in-hand.  This critical project will address both, and Queens is grateful for the state’s sizable investment in the much-needed revamping of the Long Island Expressway.  We look forward to ensuring a safer, smoother ride for those who drive.”

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said, “This project will go a long way to increase roadway safety along this important stretch of highway.  We appreciate New York State answering our calls to help keep residents safe as they navigate this critical corridor in our county.”

Representative Grace Meng said, “Thanks to Governor Hochul for continuing to invest in our local roads and highways including this crucial artery that serves my congressional district and our region.  Upgrading and improving our aging infrastructure is vital as we seek to build back better and I look forward to this work enhancing travel and safety for motorists.”

Senator Jim Gaughran said, “I’m thrilled that Governor Hochul has committed funding to repaving the Long Island Expressway, a vital juncture in our region’s infrastructure.  These upgrades will provide Long Island commuters smoother roads and a safer drive.  Thank you Governor Hochul.”

Senator Alexis Weik said, “I have spoken to the DOT on the critical need to repave the LIE and today’s announcement is an important first step to ensure it gets done.  The safety of our motorists is paramount and I am pleased that the DOT is making repaving the LIE—a majority of which will take place in the 3rdSenate District—a priority.”

Assembly Member Mike Fitzpatrick said, “I want to thank Governor Hochul for making the resurfacing of Long Island’s busiest roadway a top priority in her new administration.  I know she appreciates and supports keeping our roads as safe as they can be.  This project will improve safety while providing work for our Long Island road contractors, the best in the business.”

Assembly Member Phil Ramos said, “Municipalities rely on state funding to repair their roads.  Thanks to Governor Hochul, The long overdue repaving and resurfacing is underway on the Long Island Expressway.  New York’s varying weather makes frequent road repairs necessary and I am happy that Suffolk County’s infrastructure will be enhanced.”

Assembly Member Keith Brown said, “I want to thank the Administration and the DOT Commissioner for hearing our pleas and for advancing the schedule of paving the LIE from Exits 47-65 to fix the unsafe conditions for motorists and motorcyclists.  We are happy to see it being done.  It’s overdue!”

Assembly Member Doug Smith said, “I am grateful to Governor Hochul and the New York State Department of Transportation for expediting the much needed repaving of the LIE.  I am happy that the concerns of our residents and local officials have been heard and look forward to seeing the project completed.”

Assembly Member Jodi Giglio said, “The repaving will make travel on the LIE safe and will keep women and men in labor busy for years to come.  Thank you Governor Hochul and NYSDOT for making this long awaited project happen.”

Assembly Member Joe DeStefano said, “The state DOT moving forward with bids to resurface the LIE could not come soon enough.  This is a vital roadway for all of Long Island and must be properly maintained.  The state must stay on schedule with the bidding process and get the job done.  The safety and economic well-being of millions of people depends on it.”

Council Member Karen Koslowitz said, “It is heartening to know that Governor Hochul recognizes that Queens has problems with its arterial highway system, and that the Governor is committed to giving Queens motorists a safer and smoother trip.”

Council Member Paul A. Vallone said, “I applaud Governor Hochul on her commitment to safety through these much needed investments in traffic improvements on the LIE.  Safety has always been one of my top priorities and I am glad to see that Queens is on the Governor’s radar as she brings our state out of the pandemic and into a bright new future.”

Council Member Barry S. Grodenchik said, “At a time when traffic is reaching or surpassing record levels across the region, this project will enhance safety for motorists here in Queens and for all who travel this critical artery.”