Drivers caught in Manhattan traffic jams near the Brooklyn Bridge entrance should notice fewer bottlenecks with the opening of expanded access ramps to and from the historic gateway, according to city Department of Transportation officials.
The ramps at the bridge and FDR Drive opened within the past 10 days, giving drivers two traffic lanes instead of one, officials announced Monday. The lone lane on each side of the FDR Drive had been a choke point that snarled traffic as cars squeezed into the exit.
DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan said the upgrade will make driving between Manhattan and Brooklyn faster and smoother.
"What a difference a lane makes," Sadik-Khan said Monday in a statement.
When entering Manhattan from the bridge, there will be a two-lane exit ramp allowing drivers to access FDR Drive North, as well as Pearl Street.
Meanwhile, the exit to the Brooklyn Bridge on the southbound FDR Drive now has two lanes.
"We've eased the bottleneck that has been an everyday reality for so many New Yorkers -- causing inefficiency and frustration alike," said state Sen. Daniel L. Squadron (D-Brooklyn).
The exit expansion is part of a $508-million rehabilitation project started in 2010 for the Brooklyn Bridge and its approach ramps. The DOT has nearly finished its expansion of the bridge's Brooklyn-bound lanes to Cadman Plaza West and Old Fulton Street.