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U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Public Affairs, Washington, D.C., www.dot.gov/affairs/briefing.htm - News

FHWA 47-10
Monday, Sept. 20, 2010
Contact: Kelly Hanahan
Tel: 202-366-0660

Federal Highway Administrator Mendez Helps Break Ground on Staten Island Expressway Recovery Project

NYC project will reduce congestion, enhances safety for residents

NEW YORK- Federal Highway Administrator Victor Mendez today joined state and local officials in breaking ground on the Staten Island Expressway access improvements project, which received $39.5 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the largest recipient of Recovery Act highway dollars in the state.

"New York is the biggest, busiest city in the country and we want to keep its people and goods moving," said U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood. "Recovery Act dollars will help relieve traffic congestion on the Staten Island Expressway and keep New Yorkers on the go while creating jobs in the city."

Work involves adding lanes and ramps, widening overpasses and realigning and leveling the sharpest and steepest curves on a 1.9-mile section of highway between Lily Pond Road and Clove Road. Work will also include extending bus lanes and demolishing unused overpasses. The total project cost is $74.8 million.

The Staten Island Expressway is the main commuter and freight corridor in Staten Island and one of the most heavily traveled highways in New York City, carrying up to 190,000 vehicles each day. The project will ease what is known as the "Bradley Avenue backup," which brings traffic to a crawl most hours of the day.

"Residents and commuters will spend less time stuck in traffic and get where they need to go more quickly," said Administrator Mendez. "This investment from the Recovery Act will reduce congestion and the new jobs will help stimulate the city's economy."

Of the more than $26.6 billion in Recovery Act highway money available nationwide, New York received more than $1.1 billion. As of September 10, money had been obligated for 443 projects, with 261 currently underway and 149 completed in the state.

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