SOUTHERN BROOKLYN— There may be some relief down the road for maddened motorists struggling to merge onto the Fort Hamilton Parkway exit from the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge.
The MTA has announced that work will begin next week to improve traffic flow and safety merges exiting the Verrazzano after 92nd Street heading toward Fort Hamilton Parkway. The plan is to expand and widen the roadway on the Brooklyn side of the bridge, a process that will save motorists time and help reduce congestion along the expressway.
“This historically awkward merge frequently backs up traffic, with vehicles entering from 92nd Street intersecting with vehicles exiting Fort Hamilton Parkway,” said Joyce Mulvaney, MTA director of community affairs.
“This work will widen the Fort Hamilton Parkway exit, relocate the 92nd Street merge downstream and allow more capacity for the majority of traffic moving eastbound. It eliminates the forced merge, improves traffic flow and safety, and will help alleviate back-ups,” added Mulvaney.
Community Board 10 District Manager Josephine Beckmann said that she was happy the project was underway. “I am delighted that the MTA Bridges and Tunnels-Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge upgrade capital project will improve safety caused by the congestion and back up at Fort Hamilton Parkway,” Beckmann told this paper.
“It will also allow greater eastbound traffic capacity for the majority of traffic moving eastbound. It eliminates the forced merge, improves traffic flow and safety, and will help alleviate back-ups,” she added.
City Councilmember Justin Brannan, who represents Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights, Bensonhurst and Bath Beach, has long rallied for changes to be made to the roadway infrastructure.
“The bottleneck during a.m. and p.m. rush hour at the awkward merge onto the Fort Hamilton Parkway exit has driven me — and everyone else — insane for a very long time,” Brannan told this paper.
“And I’ve only watched it get worse. With vehicles entering from 92nd Street intersecting with vehicles exiting Fort Hamilton Parkway, the congestion here can literally back up traffic from 86th Street all the way to Bay Ridge Parkway. We have been begging MTA Bridges and Tunnels to take action and had many meetings with engineers to show them how bad this had become. I’m happy they listened to us and are finally going to make this right by widening the Fort Hamilton Parkway exit once and for all,” added Brannan.
Construction is slated to begin next week and be completed in 2021.