YORKTOWN, N.Y. Brake lights lit up the early morning sky Tuesday as southbound Taconic State Parkway travelers ran into delays during the first full day of construction on the northbound AMVETS Bridge.
With rain delaying the project one day, construction on the bridge over the New Croton Reservoir began at 8 p.m. on Monday night. The construction is expected to continue until November and will completely shut down northbound Taconic lanes from Pines Bridge Road in New Castle to Underhill Avenue in Yorktown.
Taconic commuters have had more than a week to prepare for the overhaul, as the State Department of Transportation spent the previous week preparing the parkway for the extra traffic that will be re-routed to the southbound lanes.
The three-and-a-half mile stretch of parkway will be four lanes wide with a concrete barrier between two lanes in each direction. Over the bridge, the speed limit has been lowered to 35 miles per hour and lanes have been reduced from 11 feet to 9 feet.
During the project - especially during the first two weeks - police officers from different municipalities will be in the Traffic Command Center in Hawthorne as well as on the road. State troopers were also stationed throughout the parkway on Tuesday morning.
Despite the delays for morning commuters, some travelers expect the northbound evening commute to be even worse.
Everybody goes into work at different times, said Mark Manse. But everybody goes home at five."
In order to avoid major backups, officials are hoping to shed as much as 2,200 cars in the morning and evening commutes to alternate routes, such as Route 9, Route 100, I-684 and the Saw Mill River Parkway.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.