Queens Midtown Tunnel Construction Update - March 2017

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Manhattan Side Exit Plaza Work

Starting Saturday, April 1st, 10am, roadway demolition work will begin on the right Downtown exit lane on the Manhattan side of the Queens Midtown Tunnel This work, detailed in the attached release from March 19th, is the final stage of the Queens Midtown Tunnel’s Manhattan exit plaza roadway rehabilitation. The demolition work will run from 10am-6pm on weekends (with crews arriving for set-up at 8am), and from 8am to 6pm Monday through Friday. There will be noise containment around the hydro-demo machine, and the vacuum truck will be moved as far back as possible toward the 2nd Avenue overpass. All hydro-demo work will be done during the daytime hours. The work is expected to be completed before July 4th, weather pending.

Starting on Sunday night, March 19, 2017, and for approximately three months, the two right “Downtown” exit lanes at the Manhattan plaza of the Queens Midtown Tunnel will be closed for the final stage of exit plaza roadway rehabilitation.

On May 18 and 19, 2017 there will be concrete pours at the Manhattan Exit Plaza (night work).

Drivers traveling Downtown can use the four open and newly resurfaced “Uptown” or “Crosstown” exit lanes, or the left “Downtown” exit lane, which will remain open during this period. In addition, East 37th Street between Tunnel Exit and 2nd Avenue has been temporarily converted to receive two-way traffic, to accommodate motorists exiting the tunnel from the Uptown lanes and seeking a Downtown route via 2nd Avenue.

The work includes asphalt replacement, rehabilitation of pavement joints, and concrete and masonry repairs, much of which has not been done since the facility was originally built. Rehabilitation of the right Downtown plaza lanes will comprise the final stages of the work that will deliver not only restored but improved facilities to our customers, providing a smoother ride through this Cashless Tolling facility.

This work is part of a continuing effort to upgrade the facility and improve the customer experience at the Queens Midtown Tunnel. This includes the recent implementation of Cashless Tolling to allow customers an easier and more convenient trip through the facility, improved roadway signage, and the ongoing work to implement Governor Cuomo’s New York Crossings Project, that will reconfigure toll plazas into modern transportation gateways, complete with LED message boards and artwork.

Cashless Tolling

MTA Bridges and Tunnels launched cashless tolling at the QMT in January 2017. The toll booths were removed, and cars now can pass through the tunnel without stopping or slowing down. For drivers, E-ZPass is recommended (save upward of 30% on tolls), but for those who do not have it, a snapshot will be taken of their license plate and the registered owner of the vehicle will be billed for the cash toll amount. Visit  www.ezpassny.com for E-ZPass information.

Weeknight and Weekend Tube Closures

Ongoing weeknight and weekend tube closures will continue for the duration of the Hurricane Sandy Restoration project, which continues on an accelerated schedule. The work shifts between north and south tubes. During these closures one tube remains open with two-way traffic. Signage and New York Police Department traffic enforcement agents will help direct motorists.

Project Duration and Scope

The roadway rehabilitation and repair on the Manhattan Exit Plaza of the tunnel, i.e., the Downtown exit lane, is expected to be completed in July. The restoration and repair work in the tubes continues through summer of 2018. The work includes replacing systems that were damaged in 2012 during Hurricane Sandy, including electrical and communications, drainage and fire standpipes. In addition to other capital improvements, contractors are installing LED lights and emergency safety lights; replacing tunnel wall tiles, ceiling finishes, curbs, catwalks, and duct banks and repaving tunnel roadways. 

Drivers should allow additional travel time or consider using an alternate route. 

Motorists can sign up for MTA e-mail or text alerts at www.mta.info and check the Bridges and Tunnels homepage or Facebook page for the latest information on this planned work.

As always, MTA Bridges & Tunnels appreciates your patience as they wrap up this challenging roadway rehab work.


Updated 3/17/17, 3/31/17, 5/17/17


MTA Press Release 3/15/17
MTA Press Release 3/17/17


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