New Continuous Auxiliary Lane Will Reduce Congestion on Highway and Local Streets
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that construction has begun on the project to enhance safety and reduce congestion along a portion of the westbound Staten Island Expressway (I-278) in Staten Island. Scheduled for completion in spring 2021, the project will connect the entrance and exit ramps between the northbound Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Expressway entrance ramp and the South Avenue exit ramp, creating a continuous auxiliary lane that will extend for more than half a mile and give motorists a longer distance to merge on and off the expressway.
“As more and more people return to our roads, it is critically important that we continue upgrading infrastructure to enhance safety for motorists and reduce congestion,” Governor Cuomo said. “This project will deliver a better highway for motorists and improved local streets for Staten Island residents, enhancing New York’s transit network to better meet current and future demands.”
Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez said, “Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, New York is continuing to make important investments in our infrastructure that will create a more efficient transportation network. This much-needed project will help to reduce congestion along the Staten Island Expressway and adjacent local roadways, benefitting thousands of motorists who use these roads every day.”
The new auxiliary lane will allow motorists entering from northbound or southbound Dr. Martin Luther King Expressway to access Richmond Avenue (Exit 7) or South Avenue (Exit 6) without merging on to the Staten Island Expressway. It will also provide easier access from Victory Boulevard to Richmond Avenue and South Avenue via the Dr. Martin Luther King Expressway, helping to reduce traffic on local streets.
Additional improvements to be made as part of the $3.3 million include two new overhead sign structures, new guiderails and LED lighting. The westbound Staten Island Expressway within the project limits will be milled and paved with new pavement markings installed.
Congressman Max Rose said, “There’s no denying that the logjam on the Staten Island Expressway around Richmond Avenue has plagued us for years. After the progress we’ve seen since the Governor added a similar auxiliary lane on the West Shore, I’m confident that the combination of this new lane on the SIE —along with the thousands of out-of-state trucks coming off the highway each day thanks to split-tolling—will be another great step forward in ending our commuting nightmare.”
Senator Andrew Lanza said, “The addition of the new auxiliary lane along the Staten Island Expressway will enhance the flow of traffic along this corridor. I commend NYS DOT for continuing to seek out improvements along our highways. As we have seen with similar auxiliary lanes, such as on the Westshore Expressway, a relatively small but well planned roadway enhancement can have a positive impact on overall traffic flow. I look forward to continuing to work with Governor Cuomo and DOT Commissioner Dominguez to find additional enhancement opportunities along Staten Island’s highways.”
Senator Diane Savino said, “Anything that will alleviate traffic is a much needed and welcomed project on Staten Island. Adding an auxiliary lane will not only reduce congestion on the expressway, it will help clear our local roads as well. Updates to Staten Island’s infrastructure have been desperately needed and I appreciate Governor Cuomo’s investment in this project.”
Assemblymember Charles D. Fall said, “The announcement of construction of the auxiliary lane on the westbound portion of the expressway is encouraging news. As residents are slowly retuning back to work and youth back to school, this project will help alleviate traffic and congestion for motorists and commuters. It is essential that we keep other projects such as the ten-year-old Northshore Right of Way proposal on everyone’s radar to further bring about accessible, affordable and safe transportation to Staten Island.”
Councilmember Steven Matteo said, “This auxiliary lane will provide a much-needed outlet for an area of the Staten Island Expressway that frequently experiences heavy bottlenecks and spillover traffic onto Richmond and South avenues. I laud the State DOT for its efforts to address Staten Island traffic problems, and I sincerely hope Commissioner Dominguez will also work with me to extend the westbound HOV lane on the Expressway to the Goethals Bridge, which I believe will provide an even more comprehensive traffic solution.”
Councilmember Debi Rose said, “This stretch of the Staten Island Expressway frequently experiences traffic backups, with vehicles shifting lanes to merge on and off the highway. This new auxiliary lane will make this portion of the expressway less stressful for commuters — and more importantly, it will make the highway safer. This is good news from the governor for all who use the Staten Island Expressway.”
Staten Island Borough President Oddo said, “For Staten Islanders with a commute unlike any other in the country, these improvements to the Staten Island Expressway are welcomed news. The addition of this auxiliary lane to alleviate bottlenecking will allow residents to gain precious time back in their days. We hope this investment is the beginning of more to come, eventually leading to the completion of the HOV lane.”