October 12, 2021
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced a major milestone in the Kew Gardens Interchange Phase 4 project in Queens.
Construction has been completed on two newly reconfigured ramps that will enhance safety and reduce congestion along this heavily traveled commuter corridor used by hundreds of thousands of commuters each day to reach the John F. Kennedy International Airport and other key destinations throughout New York City and Long Island. The new ramps will provide easier connections for motorists entering the westbound Grand Central Parkway from the westbound Union Turnpike, and for those heading from the eastbound Jackie Robinson Parkway at Exit 8W to the Grand Central Parkway.
The new ramps, which will be fully open late Friday night, are a signature element of the State Department of Transportation's ongoing $365 million Phase 4 project, which will help to reduce backups, lesson vehicle emissions and facilitate continued economic growth across the entire Metropolitan Region.
"We are committed to building back our infrastructure to meet the challenges of the 21st Century and help our local communities flourish,"
Governor Hochul said.
"These new ramps at the Kew Gardens Interchange will help alleviate congestion and make it easier for motorists to navigate this vital interchange, keeping goods and people on the move more safely."
The new ramp leading from westbound Union Turnpike to westbound Grand Central Parkway eliminates the previous need for motorists to come to a complete stop before entering the parkway, allowing traffic to merge more efficiently and reducing congestion on both roadways.
The new ramp from eastbound Jackie Robinson Parkway at Exit 8W to the westbound Grand Central Parkway was redesigned to reduce a significant curve that had previously existed on Exit 8W. The new ramp, which is carried on a new bridge structure, has standard lane and shoulder widths, which did not exist before. The project also increased the merge length from the eastbound Jackie Robinson Parkway to westbound Grand Central Parkway - which allowed for the removal of a stop sign at the end of the ramp - and upgraded the drainage systems. These upgrades will enable motorists to more safely and efficiently merge at this location.
Additionally, work on the rehabilitated Jackie Robinson Parkway Exit 8E to the eastbound Grand Central Parkway has also been completed.
Completion of the ramps follows the opening earlier this year of a new eastbound Grand Central Parkway Exit 13W ramp to the westbound Jackie Robinson Parkway and the new southbound Van Wyck Expressway Exit 7 ramp, which were both included as part of Phase 4 of the Kew Gardens Interchange project. Bridges completed as part of Phase 4 include the westbound Union Turnpike bridge over Grand Central Parkway, the westbound Grand Central Parkway bridge to westbound Union Turnpike/Queens Boulevard, and the eastbound Union Turnpike bridge over the Grand Central Parkway.
New York Pressroom
October 8, 2021