June 14, 2021 By Christina Santucci
Two recently completed exit ramps at the Kew Gardens Interchange are expected to ease vehicle congestion on the heavily traveled roadways, officials said.
More than 200,000 vehicles per day use the Kew Gardens Interchange – the intersection of the Grand Central Parkway, the Van Wyck Expressway, the Jackie Robinson Parkway and Union Turnpike.
Governor Andrew Cuomo touted the completion of the two ramps Friday.
One new ramp allows vehicles to exit from the eastbound Grand Central Parkway onto the westbound Jackie Robinson Parkway. The new exit is on the left side and was moved about a quarter-mile from its former spot.
Previously, the Jackie Robinson Parkway was only accessible by a ramp with a stop sign alongside the roadway leading into the Van Wyck Expressway. Officials described that setup as causing a “notorious bottleneck” and said that they expected the new ramp and elimination of the stop sign to ease congestion.
The other new ramp allows drivers on the southbound Van Wyck Expressway to access the westbound Jackie Robinson Parkway, westbound Union Turnpike and Queens Boulevard.
The ramps are part of Kew Gardens Interchange project’s Phase IV.
Phase IV also includes the widening of travel lanes and shoulders, improving on and off ramps to enhance traffic flow and changing lane configurations for safer merging and exiting – as well as signage updates and lighting, drainage and landscaping improvements.
Work on the first phase began in 2010, and the fourth and final phase is expected to conclude next year. The revamp is expected to cost about $700 million in total.