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Overnight FDR Drive Closures to Continue Through July, Officials Say

By Shaye Weaver | June 15, 2016 12:01pm
 Looking northbound on FDR at East 71st Street.
Looking northbound on FDR at East 71st Street.
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DNAinfo/Shaye Weaver

UPPER EAST SIDE — The FDR Drive is closing for additional nights in June and July to accommodate ongoing construction at Rockefeller University, officials said.

The drive will close overnight between East 61st and 96th streets Wednesdays through Sundays now until July 19, according to the Department of Transportation.

The closures come with ongoing construction at Rockefeller University, where a new research center is being built along the East River, as well as work on the East River Esplanade just south of East 64th to East 68th streets. The projects are slated to wrap up by 2018 and 2019, respectively.

On Tuesday night, construction crews lifted a 1.5 million-pound steel structure over the FDR Drive from a barge on the East River. 

 A crane will hoist a large steel piece over the FDR Drive overnight Tuesday into Wednesday, according to Sam Schwartz.
A crane will hoist a large steel piece over the FDR Drive overnight Tuesday into Wednesday, according to Sam Schwartz.
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Sam Schwartz Engineering

The 240-foot crane that was used is the largest marine crane on the East Side, according to Sam Schwartz, the lead traffic consultant for the project. 

"The FDR Drive is the only continuous highway through Manhattan," he said. "Its closures will be felt regionally so try to stay on the Brooklyn-Queens side as long as possible or the Henry Hudson/West Side Highway combo.” 

Here's what you need to know:

► The drive will shutter from 12:30 a.m. to 4:30 a.m. Wednesday through Friday, 1 a.m. to 5:30 a.m. on Saturday, and 2 a.m. to 6:30 a.m. on Sunday, according to officials.

► The southbound entrance ramps at 125th, 116th, 92nd, 79th and 73rd streets and the northbound entrance ramps at 34th, 42nd and 62nd streets will be closed during that time.

► The FDR's 34th Street exit will be closed in addition to the southbound off-ramps on the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge and the Third Avenue Bridge.

► Drivers heading north on the FDR can exit at 61st Street and take First Avenue and get back on the highway at 96th Street.

► Leading up to the closures, the DOT will close one lane in both directions between 11 p.m. and midnight. All lanes will reopen by 5:30 a.m. on weekdays, 6:30 a.m. on Saturday and 11 a.m. on Sunday, DOT officials said.

► The closures will continue through July 19 and the DOT will release more updates as the closures are needed.