Drivers who usually take the eastbound Jackie Robinson Parkway and get off at Exit 6 in Forest Park for Metropolitan Avenue or Queens Boulevard will have to take a detour in the wee hours of the morning, and all day on weekends, for nearly two weeks.
The eastbound exit ramp will be shut down for roadwork from midnight to 5 a.m. Mondays through Thursdays, and midnight Fridays to 5 a.m. the following Mondays, the state Department of Transportation announced July 12. The closures were to begin “on or about” July 14 and run through approximately July 26. They may be rescheduled due to inclement weather.
The DOT said drivers should get off at the prior exit, Exit 5, for Myrtle Avenue and Woodhaven Boulevard, and follow the detour signs. Mobile electronic signs before Exit 5 will warn that Exit 6 is closed, agency spokeswoman Diane Park told the Chronicle. The next available exit, 7, for the northbound Van Wyck Expressway, is the last one before the parkway ends at Exits 8E and 8W with the options to go either east or west on the Grand Central Parkway. That area is part of the Kew Gardens Interchange, where a major reconstruction project has been ongoing for years.
The Exit 6 shutdowns are needed “to facilitate work” on the state DOT’s pavement preservation project in Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island, the agency said. Pavement preservation is broadly defined as proactive work such as resealing and microsurfacing that extends the useful life of roadways.
“A common mantra of pavement preservation is keeping good roads good,” the Federal Highway Administration says. “Constructing quality pavement preservation treatments when the pavement condition is still satisfactory can impede deterioration, extend service life, and improve functionality in a cost-effective manner while also enhancing safety and contributing to customer satisfaction.”
Parts of the Exit 6 ramp that have deteriorated will get new pavement, Park said. Concrete that is in poor shape will be saw cut, removed to its full depth and replaced.
The ramp appears to be about 1,000 feet long, according to Google Maps.
The DOT encourages drivers to keep up with road conditions and projects through its traffic and travel information source, 511NY. People may call 511, visit 511ny.org or download the 511NY app. The latter has a feature called Drive mode, which gives drivers audible alerts about incidents and construction along a chosen route.
The agency also advises following it on social media. Its handles are @nysdot and @nysdot_nyc on Twitter, and its Facebook page is Facebook.com/nysdot.
The DOT urges motorists to slow down and drive responsibly in work zones, reminding them that fines for speeding are doubled in those areas and that two or more convictions can result in a driver’s license suspension.