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New York Begins $83 Million Megaproject to Make State's Scariest Highway Safer

The Long Island Expressway is a nightmare of an interstate. Apart from being a major travel route for all kinds of nefarious drug-running operations, its span from the NYC Borough of Queens to its border with Nassau County makes for a harrowing daily commute.
Long Island Expressway 6 photos
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That's why when New York State governor Kathy Hochul announced the construction of an $83 million safety project this was underway week, some commuters breathed a sigh of relief. Under this plan, vast sections of the furthest west portions of the 71.02-mile (114.30 km) long superhighway will receive major infrastructure upgrades to help decrease the length and frequency of major traffic jams along the route.

It's hoped that the construction of new auxiliary lanes and reconstructions at two of the road's major Queens exits will ease congestion at the highway's most busy points between the entrance ramp from the southbound Clearview Expressway to the Exit 29 ramp at Springfield Boulevard. This stretch of the road also happens to be a frequent spot for severe or fatal car accidents.

"Safety is a top priority for our transportation infrastructure, which is why we are investing in these critical enhancements along the Long Island Expressway," Governor Hochul explained in New York State's official press release on the matter.

"We remain laser-focused on making our infrastructure safer and more efficient, and investing in infrastructure projects like this will ensure our communities and transportation networks across the state are well-connected. Motorists on this busy section of the highway have historically experienced heavy congestion and delays. It's believed this project will help ease travel to the benefit of residents and everyone who uses this critical corridor."

Alongside the new auxiliary lanes, two new entrance ramps from the northbound Clearview Expressway and from the Horace Harding Expressway at 212th Street will be heavily modified. All to alleviate bottlenecks that too often lead to immense traffic jams that last for miles.

It's all capped off by replacing a decades-old bridge over Oceania Street in Bayside, Queens, which passes over the eastbound and westbound Long Island Expressway in favor of a new one more favorable to motor vehicle and bicycle traffic alike. Whether these changes yield positive results will remain to be seen for some time.

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