Verrazano-Narrows Bridge Approach Decks Reconstruction
HVEA Engineers is a subconsultant to WSP USA Corp. for this TBTA project to reconstruct the approaches to the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge (VNB). The VNB terminus facility in Staten Island is a high traffic volume connection of roadways and turning movements with Lily Pond Avenue being the major local road servicing this terminus. Peak hour turning movements to and from the VNB Lily Pond Avenue exit ramp approach “grid-lock” conditions leading to extended queuing and negatively affecting adjoining traffic movements and toll booth operations. The ROW boundaries for the terminus and toll booths are encroached on all sides leaving little room for further expansion. In addition, pedestrian and bicycle accommodations have been added over the years further limiting congestion mitigation efforts. As a result, the increasing traffic volumes and congestion delays require creative uses of the existing roadway and facility footprints.
Several components were considered in addressing the project needs. First, since queuing is affecting adjoining traffic movements the existing ramps were analyzed for widening/additional lanes to reduce queuing and adjoining impacts. Second, the weave/merge traffic patterns were analyzed for possible separation into distinct traffic streams; id: allow exiting/entering bridge movements not to proceed concurrently. Lastly, separation or elimination of pedestrian and bicycle accommodations were investigated. HVEA developed several alternatives to improve the operation and safety of the Lily Pond Avenue exit ramp including improved geometry, a grade separated shared-use path and a “fly-over” bridge with a relocated ramp.