The reopening of entrance 3-E to I-95 off of Pelham Parkway occurred after a press conference on July 7. Signs marking the ramp as closed were removed, and the road was prepared for vehicular traffic.
The ramp closed when a resurfacing of that stretch of the New York State Thruway shuttered a lane of traffic, making that entrance to the highway a hazardous route for motorists. After the construction was complete, the ramp was never re-opened.
After working with the community and the State Department of Transportation for over a year, Senator Jeff Klein was able to get the ramp reopened.
“After years of inconvenience and morbid traffic conditions in the Pelham Bay neighborhood, residents and drivers alike will now reap the benefits of safer streets and a better commute,” said Klein.
Assemblyman Michael Benedetto, as well as Community Board 10 district manager Kenneth Kearns, and several community leaders, including Barbara Dolensek of the City Island Civic Association and Andrew Chirco of the Waterbury-LaSalle Community Association, also petitioned the state in the successful effort to reopen the ramp.
“The closing of the northbound Pelham Parkway entrance to I-95 has caused our community a lot of inconvenience,” Benedetto said. “The re-opening will be a relief and will help alleviate congestion on local roads, as well as making traffic to City Island flow a lot better.”
The new access route is expected to substantially reduce traffic coming through Pelham Bay to access to I-95, as well as making it easier to get to Co-op City and City Island.
“The city streets in Pelham Bay were not meant to bear highway traffic levels,” Klein added. “I’ve heard far too many horror stories from fed up residents who’ve suffered as drivers tear through their streets at un-safe speeds.”
In addition to safety, driving for many residents will be less of an inconvenience.
“Now that the construction of I-95 is complete, the ramp needs to be re-opened to provide better access to Co-op City and beyond,” said Len Murrell, chairman of the municipal services committee of CB 10, who lives in Co-op City. “Co-op City will be more easily accessible, because we will no longer be required to go to the light at the end of Pelham Parkway to turn around.”
The ramp was originally closed in 2004, after numerous accidents interfered with the resurfacing of I-95.
Community Board 10 wrote a letter to DOT requesting that the ramp be put back into use on March 19, 2007, but it ultimately took Klein’s involvement to re-open the ramp.
“The re-opening of this ramp verifies what we have known all along: when we work together as a community, we win,” noted Klein.