MTA revamping ramps to Verrazano approach

Ramping up: The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is installing a new ramp connecting the Gowanus Expressway’s existing high-occupancy vehicle lane to one being built on the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. It is also re-jiggering two ramps connecting the Belt Parkway to the span.
Metropolitan Transportation Auhtority

The Metropolitan Transportation Authority is rebuilding and moving ramps on the Brooklyn side of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge — stirring up what the bridge’s original engineer called a “spaghetti pile” of existing ascents — in an effort to speed along drivers on the Gordian knot of interchanges tying the bridge to the Belt Parkway and Gowanus Expressway.

“The project will involve the construction of a new ramp which will weave its way through the spaghetti pile formed by the existing and complex ramp network forming the Brooklyn approaches to the bridge,” according to a memo from Ammann & Whitney, the firm that designed the bridge and which is overseeing construction on the new ramps.

Workers are erecting a new approach to connect the Gowanus Expressway’s existing high-occupancy vehicle and bus lane to one the authority is creating on the bridge, according to a spokeswoman.

It is also re-jiggering a small portion of the ramps connecting the 50-year-old span to the Belt Parkway to make room for the new lane, but drivers won’t notice a difference once the work is done, she said.

Connecting commuter lanes on the bridge and the Gowanus Expressway will help folks navigate the perennially-snarled interchange where the two link up, an official said.

“The new Bus/HOV lane on the bridge will be a great benefit to all who use it,” said Verrazano-Narrows Facility Engineer David Riggs. “It is the missing piece of the puzzle that will save people time and improve traffic flow daily.”

The authority is putting money in the embankment — the project is expected to cost $84.3 million, and work is slated to wrap by the end of 2017, an authority spokeswoman said.

Reach reporter Max Jaeger at mjaeger@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–8303. Follow him on Twitter @JustTheMax.
Hard core: Steel framework for one of the new ramp’s supports.
Metropolitan Transportation Authority

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