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An official with the state Department of Transportation said Friday that the agency remains committed to working with Briarwood residents as long as work on the Van Wyck Expressway requires disruptions on Queens Boulevard.
The widening of the Van Wyck is the first and southernmost stage of a multiyear project to modernize the Kew Gardens Interchange, where the Van Wyck, Grand Central Parkway, Union Turnpike Queens Boulevard and Jackie Robinson Parkway all converge.
Armed with picket signs and a long list of complaints, dozens of Briarwood-area residents protested traffic and safety conditions brought about by the ongoing Kew Gardens Interchange project near the newly-opened entrance of the Briarwood-Van Wyck Expressway subway station on Saturday.
Following what it termed to be a lack of response from the state Department of Transportation, the Briarwood Action Network organized the rally in an effort to get multiple concerns addressed.
Just days after the city made a show of starting sewer work at Willets Point, a state Supreme Court judge has decided to reopen a Willets Point United lawsuit that could halt the $3 billion mixed-use development project.
Last week’s groundbreaking ballyhooed the $50 million infrastructure work to build a sanitary sewer main and reconstruct a storm sewer and outfall in Willets Point. It is the precursor to the total project, which calls for taking over the entire 62-acre area, also known as the Iron Triangle, that is bounded by 126th Street, Roosevelt Avenue, Northern Boulevard and the Van Wyck Expressway.
If you thought it was difficult navigating the Kew Gardens Interchange, try designing a multi-year, multi-million dollar upgrade that will please motorists and environmentalists as well as engineers.
The interchange connects the Van Wyck Expressway, Union Turnpike and the Grand Central and Jackie Robinson parkways.
The city Department of Design and Construction will be repaving Queens Boulevard from 78th Avenue to 80th Road, as well as Kew Gardens Road from Union Turnpike to 80th Road, in a project expected to last two weeks. Work will be done from 9 p.m. to 5:30 a.m. beginning on Monday, Aug. 22 and ending on Labor Day. However, one lane of traffic will remain open at all times.
While some motorists may loath the delays it may cause, it’s nothing compared to a larger project which is scheduled to begin in a few months.
The 14-mile-long Van Wyck Expressway is best known to New York City drivers for congestion and convenience as a connection to many Queens neighborhoods and Kennedy Airport.