The last Bronx exit on I-695 towards the Throgs Neck Bridge, plagued by safety concerns for years, may finally get remedied.
The large work fence, installed by an MTA contractor, that has surrounded a construction storage site holding work trailers and materials for projects on the bridge plaza, directly adjacent to Exit #9 onto the Throgs Neck Expressway Service Road near Harding Avenue, is expected to be re-positioned and moved back dozens of feet away from its current location.
An MTA spokesman stated that the fence in question, which is wrapped in a dense green mesh, and which Locust Point residents have claimed is responsible for many close calls by motorists that exit the highway and proceed to go left towards the waterfront community, will no longer be a headache.
“A contractor is on-site and is in the process of installing the fence at the new location. Once installed, the old fence will be removed, effectively relocating the fence to improve motorists’ views,” stated the MTA spokesman.
MTA representatives who spoke at the Throggs Neck Home Owners Association on Tuesday, March 26, told the group that the bridge’s deck replacement project will not require as large an office trailer area, stated Robert Barbarelli, TNHOA vice-president.
“The MTA reps said that they don’t need the whole ‘yard’ in order to store equipment,” Barbarelli. stated, “Rather, they only need a few trailers….so, overall, we are anticipating a positive resolution to the issue.”
He added that based on his understanding, the fence problem may be resolved very soon.
The issue came to the forefront in a Bronx Times article in 2018 after a Locust Point resident, Maria Guzzone, pointed out the dangers awaiting local drivers at the off ramp’s meeting point with the service road.
The fence obstruction blocks out cars travelling west on the service road towards Pennyfield Avenue.
Locust Point Civic Association president Joe Donovan believes the matter is well on its way to being resolved.
“It is certainly a safety hazard,” said Donovan, adding he has worked on resolving the issue in his four years as LPCA president.
He said he had several conversations with different MTA officials about the fence obstructing the views of drivers coming from Locust Point as they pass Harding Avenue.
There have been a lot of close calls and even a few accidents at the intersection, he said.
Motorists exiting the highway who are unfamiliar with the area may be unaware that Throgs Neck Expressway Service Road is a two-way thoroughfare.
Moving back the fence 25 feet would provide a clear line of sight for both motorists approaching the intersection and those exiting the expressway.
About a decade ago, former Senator Jeff Klein and Assemblyman Michael Benedetto had NYS Department of Transportation to redesign the off ramp to remove blind spots.