Generations of motorists in Queens have been tormented by bottlenecks on the Long Island Expressway that have been just as predictable through the years as death and taxes.
Governor Kathy Hochul announced Wednesday, Oct. 20, that the state’s Department of Transportation has begun construction on projects to add auxiliary lanes and improve exit and entrance ramps on the thoroughfare in Queens from the Little Neck Parkway all the way to 48th Street in Maspeth and Sunnyside.
“Investment in our state’s transportation infrastructure is critical for the continued expansion of a thriving economy,” 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.”
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 the Little Neck Parkway in Douglaston, improving traffic flow and allowing motorists additional space to exit and enter the highway.
“The overall safety on our streets and the modernization of our aging transportation infrastructure go hand-in-hand,” Queens Borough President Donovan Richards said. “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.”
The project will not expand the LIE to four lanes in the area nor expand the HOV lanes in Nassau County into Queens, according to a NYS DOT spokesman. Exit and entrance ramps at Kissena Boulevard, Utopia Parkway and Francis Lewis Boulevard will be extended by approximately 370 feet. Other safety enhancements will be installed at those locations.