Driving around Queens may now be a bit less frustrating, after a major phase of the lengthy Kew Gardens Interchange Project was completed six years after it started, officials said.
The state Department of Transportation just finalized the $159 million reconstruction of a large portion of the Van Wyck Expressway in Kew Gardens and Briarwood, which seeks to reduce congestion and ease traffic flow in the area, Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Thursday.
That phase of the Kew Gardens Interchange project included:
► reconstructing and widening the Van Wyck Expressway between 82nd and Hillside avenues;
► reconstructing the exit ramp from the northbound Van Wyck Expressway to westbound Queens Boulevard;
► constructing several bridges over the Van Wyck Expressway, including the Queens Boulevard Bridge over Main Street;
► building an extra lane on the Van Wyck Expressway between the Grand Central Parkway and Queens Boulevard;
► constructing a dedicated exit lane on the southbound Van Wyck Expressway to Hillside Avenue.
Residents will still, however, have to wait a bit longer for a new elevator at the Briarwood subway station, which was built as part of the project, as well as for three pedestrian plazas and landscaping along Queens Boulevard planned for the Kew Gardens and Briarwood area after it was overtaken by the construction project for many years.