Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo ordered an acceleration of the construction on MTA bridges and tunnels to mitigate the effects of additional vehicles on the road caused by Amtrak's emergency repair work this summer. This aggressive schedule ensures major construction projects will be completed by July 8 to reduce vehicular congestion during Amtrak's extended period of widespread reduced service.
The governor's order will mean that all major commuting crossings will be cashless and all lanes will be open during the daytime.
"Our top priority is ensuring all New Yorkers can get where they need to go as quickly and easily as possible this summer and we're taking every conceivable step to prepare for Amtrak's summer of hell," Gov. Cuomo said. "By aggressively expediting construction we are taking action to ease commutes and provide New Yorkers with peace of mind."
A special interagency team, composed of the Governor's Office, the Department of Transportation, and the MTA, is overseeing the expedited construction. In May, Gov. Cuomo directed the MTA to develop a comprehensive mitigation plan to combat the Pennsylvania Station summer crisis. Amtrak is proposing repairs that would reduce the number of trains at Pennsylvania Station by approximately 20% during peak travel times, and as a result, commuters searching for alternative methods of transportation will crush an already overburdened subway system and clog roads and bridges.
Construction projects that will be accelerated for completion by July 8, include work on the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, Queens-Midtown Tunnel, Robert F. Kennedy Bridge, and Hugh L Carey Tunnel.