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To ease LIRR pain, Cuomo accelerates bridge, tunnel work

Construction project near the Manhattan and Bronx bound

Construction project near the Manhattan and Bronx bound Robert F. Kennedy Bridge toll booths in the Bronx, New York on June 12, 2017. Photo Credit: Patrick E. McCarthy

Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo is hurrying construction projects at the MTA’s bridges and tunnels to minimize traffic congestion during the LIRR’s anticipated service reductions this summer.

Before the plan’s release Monday, Cuomo announced he was ordering the acceleration of construction work at Metropolitan Transportation Authority crossings “to ease commutes and provide New Yorkers with peace of mind.”

The governor’s order also means “that all major commuting crossings will be cashless and all lanes will be open during the daytime.”

The open road tolling system uses sensors and cameras to toll cars that pass through. Motorists without E-ZPass have a photo automatically taken of their license plate, and bills sent to their homes.

A special interagency team, composed of the governor’s office, the Department of Transportation and the MTA is overseeing the expedited construction.

Cuomo said the “aggressive” new schedule will ensure that construction work at the Queens-Midtown Tunnel, the RFK-Triborough Bridge, the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge and Hugh L. Carey Tunnel will be completed by July 8 — just ahead of the rush-hour service reductions into and out of Penn that are set to begin July 10.

“Our top priority is ensuring all New Yorkers can get where they need to go as quickly and easily as possible this summer and we’re taking every conceivable step to prepare for Amtrak’s summer of hell,” Cuomo said in a statement.

The order does not include the Throgs Neck and Bronx Whitestone bridges, which also are under construction.

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