Big Projects: Five Key Public Works Across the State

Big Projects: Five Key Public Works Across the State

Big Projects: Five Key Public Works Across the State
January 27, 2014

Early next year, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s No. 7 train will carry its first passengers on a new extension to Manhattan’s West Side. On the other side of the island, the MTA’s Second Avenue subway tunnel is inching along, and its East Side Access project is getting closer to bringing Long Island commuters directly to Grand Central Terminal. And of course, up the Hudson River, construction workers are already preparing to build a new bridge to replace the aging Tappan Zee Bridge.

But these are not the only major projects going on across the state. To keep you up to speed, here are five other public works across the state that are in critical planning stages, about to get underway or meeting key milestones.

Kosciuszko Bridge
Project: Replacement
Agency: New York State Department of Transportation
Price tag: $971 million


The 1.1-mile Kosciuszko Bridge carries traffic on the Brooklyn- Queens Expressway over Newtown Creek in Brooklyn and the Long Island Expressway in Queens. But the bridge, which is over 70 years old and carries more than 160,000 vehicles each day, is in dire need of replacement. The state has adopted a two-stage plan: First, under a design-build contract, a new eastbound link will be built, and the old bridge demolished; work was originally expected to start this year, and is projected to be complete in early 2018. In the second phase, workers will construct a new westbound link.

Goethals Bridge
Project: Replacement
Agency: Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Cost: $1.5 billion (additional federal funding is also being sought)


The Goethals Bridge, one of three Staten Island bridges linking New York and New Jersey, is part of a key route between Brooklyn and New Jersey, and serves as an integral link between airports, seaports and regional markets in both states. In April the Port Authority announced a public-private partnership with NYNJ Link Partnership for the design, building, financing and maintenance of the bridge, which is more than 80 years old. The new bridge will sit directly to the south of the current one, which will be demolished once its replacement is completed. The new bridge will have six lanes, including three in each direction, a sidewalk/bikeway, and space for potential transit service in the future.

Harold Interlocking
Project: Easing train congestion
Agency: Metropolitan Transportation Authority
Cost: $368.5 million


The Harold Interlocking Northeast Corridor Congestion Relief Project is centered on a busy train intersection in Queens—in fact, it is the busiest such train intersection in the country. Amtrak’s Northeast Corridor service, which connects Boston and New York, currently crosses over local train lines at the Harold Interlocking, and the ongoing construction project adds bypass routes to eliminate the crossover, reduce congestion and pave the way for high-speed rail in coming years. Federal funds were designated for the project in 2011, and the MTA is overseeing the effort in tandem with its East Side Access project.

Interstate 81 in Syracuse 
Project: Undecided
Agency: New York State Department of Transportation
Cost: To be determined


Interstate 81 is a key transportation link in Syracuse, carrying 100,000 vehicles a day and serving as a major commuter route connecting downtown Syracuse all the way down south to Tennessee and up to the Canadian border to the north. Built in the 1950s and ’60s, the interstate highway is falling into disrepair in places and is seeing accident rates rise, especially on the raised 1.4-mile “viaduct” near downtown Syracuse. Following the conclusion of a planning study corridor for the 12-mile corridor, state and federal transportation officials are now conducting an environmental review, with public meetings held this fall. Among the goals for the project are to address the viaduct’s structural problems while also adding pedestrian access and improving the look of the interstate’s infrastructure. However, residents are split over whether to repair the highway or tear it down and replace it with a boulevard, and it will take years before either option moves forward.

Interstate 95
Project: Roadway improvements
Agency: Thruway Authority
Cost: $47 million


The New England Thruway, part of the country’s Interstate Highway System, spans about 24 miles in New York, from the George Washington Bridge to the Connecticut border, where it becomes the Connecticut Turnpike. The Thruway has launched multiyear improvements along the New England Thruway, and in its capital plan for 2014 are concrete pavement restorations from Pelham Parkway to Port Chester on the Connecticut border, and the rehabilitation of bridges over Kings Highway, the Cross County Connection and Cedar Street Interchange.

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