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RFK Bridge to Get Billion-Dollar Makeover

By DNAinfo Staff on June 29, 2011 6:05pm

Night time view of Robert F. Kennedy’s Queens suspension span with Manhattan skyline in background.
Night time view of Robert F. Kennedy’s Queens suspension span with Manhattan skyline in background.
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Patrick Cashin/MTA

By Kareem Johnson

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

MANHATTAN — The RFK-Triboro Bridge will be getting $1 billion in capital improvements starting this year.

The largest portion of the improvements is an estimated $700 million for reconstruction of bridge structures supporting the Manhattan and Bronx toll plazas.That work's expected to start later this year and end in 2014.

The full reconstruction of the Manhattan plaza is currently slated as part of the 2015-2019 Capital plan, with actual roadway work beginning in late 2019, the MTA said in a press release.

"It is a massive challenge maintaining and caring for 2.6 million square feet of roadway decking and infrastructure while maintaining traffic for the nearly 60 million cars and trucks that go through the Bronx and Manhattan plazas each year,” MTA Bridges and Tunnels Chief Engineer Joe Keane said in a statement.

View from atop the Queens tower of the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge’s Queens suspension span, looking down on Ward’s end of Randall’s Island.
View from atop the Queens tower of the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge’s Queens suspension span, looking down on Ward’s end of Randall’s Island.
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Patrick Cashin/MTA

Other work includes smaller projects that will focus on rehabilitating or replacement of the bridge's seven ramps.

The MTA also said that drivers will immediately begin seeing is the removal and replacement of 400,000-square-feet of old asphalt on the Manhattan toll plaza.

After that, a new type of rubberized asphalt will be applied to protect the concrete deck and provide a smoother ride. That project is expected to be completed by fall.