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Brooklyn Queens Expressway Rehabilitation – 61st to Broadway

Designing traffic improvements in tightly constricted urban communities requires ingenious solutions

New York City, New York
Completed in 2010

This section of the Brooklyn Queens Expressway had a high level of accidents due, in part, to non-standard lane and shoulder widths, poor drainage, and deteriorated pavement. Widening the roadway by 1.5 kilometres was complicated by the site’s high retaining walls, a major subway overpass, and parallel CSX railroad tracks. Each issue was successfully addressed. We removed and replaced existing entrance and exit ramps and reconfigured an intersection to improve traffic flow. Also mainline pavement was replaced, and new horizontal and vertical highway alignments were designed. Depending on the condition, we designed new or rehabilitated existing retaining walls and also replaced five and rehabilitated four bridges. We reconstructed deteriorated drainage and lighting systems, relocated utilities, constructed noise barriers, and improved landscaping.

One major challenge was the redesign of the Roosevelt Avenue Bridge, which supported the IRT elevated subway line. Our concern was how to maintain safe subway operations while removing and replacing the subway bridge. After careful consideration, we designed a new subway structure separate from the highway bridge below, maintaining traffic and subway operations.  

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