Soon you’ll be able to count seven lanes on the upper deck of the Verrazano.
As the MTA plans to install a new upper deck on the nearly 50-year-old Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, a new HOV lane is slated to premiere as part of the improvements, writes Denise Romano in a very informative piece for the Home Reporter.
Word of the new traffic artery came to light during an MTA Capital Construction Committee hearing on June 25.
From Home Reporter:
The upper level roadway dates to when the bridge was built about 50 years ago. “The old decking will be replaced with a lighter weight but stronger orthotropic deck. Included in this project is the addition of a new seventh lane on the bridge which will become a reversible HOV lane,” explained Judie Glave, a spokesperson for New York City Bridges and Tunnels.
This will be the first HOV lane across any of the MTA’s bridges and tunnels and will include a new ramp just off the Brooklyn approach that will directly connect to the Gowanus HOV lane. This means that the HOV lane on the Staten Island Expressway will stretch from Richmond Avenue just off the Goethals Bridge, across the Verrazano and onto the Gowanus HOV lane all the way to the Battery Tunnel, giving HOV drivers and buses a continuous HOV lane across two boroughs for the first time.
Preparations for the work are expected to begin next year, with the actual road construction beginning in 2014. The estimated total costs are expected to top out at nearly $350 million, with a completion date projected for sometime in 2017.
Brian Kieran, who serves as chair of the Community Board 10′s Traffic and Transportation Committee stated that he supports the construction plan, though he expressed some concern about the ramifications of an HOV lane on the Verrazano – including the potential of more traffic traveling through the streets of Bay Ridge.
“I am not sure how I feel about the HOV going all the way through [the boroughs],” Kieran said. “There is a possible inequity at the toll station. Will it encourage vehicular traffic to travel that way [into Brooklyn] with no toll…and put more traffic on Brooklyn streets anyway?”