Governor Cuomo Announces Completion of Project to Enhance Traffic Safety and Mobility on Staten Island Expressway
Continuous Auxiliary Lane Will Reduce Highway and Local Street Congestion
$3.3 Million Project Also Included New Guiderails, Signage and LED Lighting
New York (STL.News) Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced completion of a $3.3 million project to enhance safety and reduce congestion along a key stretch of the heavily traveled westbound Staten Island Expressway (I-278) in Staten Island. The project connected 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 extends for more than a half mile and gives motorists a longer distance to merge on and off the expressway.
“New York State is committed to investing in sustainable infrastructure that increases mobility, supports economic growth and improves quality of life,” Governor Cuomo said. “With the completion of this project, we have improved a critical highway serving Staten Island and improved local streets to better serve the needs of the community.”
The new auxiliary lane also allows motorists entering from either direction of the 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, thereby helping to reduce traffic on local streets.
Construction on the project began in October 2020 and included new guiderails and LED lighting. The westbound Staten Island Expressway within the project limits was also milled and paved; and new pavement markings were installed. New overhead sign structures will replace the existing temporary sign structure by the end of May.
The project builds on the more than $130 million that New York State has invested to enhance safety and reduce congestion along Staten Island’s highways. These projects include operational improvements to the Korean War Veterans Parkway’s interchange with the West Shore Expressway; safety and mobility enhancements on the southbound West Shore Expressway; and the extension of the bus/HOV lane on the Staten Island Expressway.
New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez said, “Under Governor Cuomo’s leadership, we continue to make smart and critically important investments in our transportation infrastructure that strengthen our communities and promote economic growth. This project will help keep Staten Islanders on the move by enhancing traffic flow on this important highway and reducing congestion on local streets.”
Congresswoman Nicole Malliotakis said, “The completion of this project is welcome news. It will help alleviate some congestion at the Richmond Avenue and South Avenue exits and provide easier access to frequently traveled roads. It is my hope that we will be able to partner with the state Department of Transportation to build on this success and invest in more needed infrastructure projects.”
Senator Diane Savino said, “Thank you Governor Cuomo for helping Staten Island finally complete this ongoing traffic construction. Constant backups and hazards should be alleviated for our commutes and connectivity, especially as we return to normalcy.”
Senator Andrew Lanza said, “I appreciate Governor Cuomo seeing through this important infrastructure project on Staten Island. Traffic congestion remains a top quality of life problem on Staten Island and this project promises to deliver needed relief.”
Assemblymember Michael Cusick said, “This project to create an auxiliary lane on the Staten Island Expressway provides a much-needed infrastructure upgrade and will go a long way in reducing congestion for Staten Island’s commuters. It is good for drivers that the project has been completed and that Staten Islanders will now be able to utilize the new lane.”
Assemblymember Charles Fall said, “I commend the Governor and the state for completing this essential project that will increase mobility and safety on the Staten Island Expressway and MLK Jr. Expressway. I will continue to work with the state on other transportation needs for the North Shore of Staten Island, more specifically, the Bus Rapid Transit proposal, securing bus and ferry service, renovating transportation hubs and keeping tolls and fares at affordable rates.”
Staten Island Borough President James S. Oddo said, “Anything and everything that improves traffic flow along the all-important Staten Island Expressway corridor is welcome and appreciated. This was a good project and will serve to get Staten Islanders home, and to where they are going, a little more efficiently.”
Motorists are urged to slow down and drive responsibly in work zones. Fines are doubled for speeding in a work zone. Convictions of two or more speeding violations in a work zone could result in the suspension of an individual’s driver license.