Dec. 21, 2020 By Allie Griffin
Construction has begun on a $14.3 million project to rehabilitate the Astoria Boulevard Bridge, the NYS Department of Transportation announced today.
Crews are upgrading the bridge — above the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway ramp — putting in place a new roadway deck, LED lighting and a new drainage system.
The existing beams are being replaced and are rust-resistant, reducing the need for painting. A stainless steel rebar is also being installed to prevent corrosion inside the roadway deck.
Additional improvements include new safety barriers and fencing as well as new water, electric and gas lines.
Marie Therese Dominguez, the state DOT Commissioner, said that the historic elements of the bridge like its stone walls will be maintained wherever possible.
The project is expected to have a limited impact on drivers. Two lanes of traffic along Astoria Boulevard will remain open throughout construction — which is expected to be completed by spring 2022.
Pedestrian access will be relocated to a temporary walkway on the south side of the bridge while utility lines are upgraded and a new sidewalk is built.
Dominguez said the project will improve traffic along the bridge.
“Once completed, this much-needed project in Queens will improve travel on one of the borough’s most important roadways and help keep people and commerce on the move for decades to come,” she said.
Queens Borough President Donovan Richards said it will also make the roadway safer.
“The start of this bridge rehabilitation project is a major step forward in the effort to improve safety and driving conditions along Astoria Boulevard,” he said. “We look forward to enjoying the smoother and safer rides that this project will bring.”