One of Long Island's largest state road projects marks a milestone Friday with the opening of the reconstructed Northern State Parkway bridge westbound over Route 110 between Melville and South Huntington.
The $56 million interchange renovation included building two new parkway bridges -- one eastbound and one westbound -- as well as reconfiguring on-ramps and exits, and widening Route 110.
During the construction that started in May 2011, traffic on the parkway was diverted onto a temporary bridge.
State Department of Transportation Commissioner Joan McDonald said when the work began that the interchange would meet 21st century traffic needs for one of Long Island's largest and most vital business districts. More than 120,000 drivers used the interchange daily before the work began.
The project is running ahead of schedule and is expected to be completed at the end of next year, the DOT says. The contract with Grace Industries Inc. had called for an August 2014 opening.
"They plan to open the westbound parkway bridge Friday morning and the eastbound should reopen in a month or so," said Marc Herbst, head of the Long Island Contractors Association, whose members include Grace. "It was a much-needed project that's created an average 115 full-time jobs throughout this construction period."
Signs are to be posted later Thursday to advise motorists of the pending traffic pattern change, officials said.