BROOKLYN - A major construction project at the Verrazano Bridge will be altering commutes for New York City drivers.
Both lanes on the upper level of the bridge were closed Friday night to allow for the transition into the next phase of construction in the bridge's $235 million replacement project.
The MTA says that by using a moveable barrier, the current lanes will be maintained during the weekday peak morning and evening rush hours. A similar change will take place in the afternoon on the Staten Island side of the bridge.
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Drivers will see what the MTA calls a "cattle chute" - a reduced stretch of isolated lane traffic - on the Brooklyn side Monday through Friday morning.
There will be three Brooklyn-bound lanes between 5 and 9:30 a.m. from Monday to Friday.
There will be three Staten Island-bound lanes open from 2:30 through 10 p.m. Monday to Thursday.
Three Staten Island-bound lanes, as well as two Brooklyn-bound lanes, will be open on weekends.
The MTA is asking drivers to use the left-hand lane only in order to get onto the Belt Parkway's Brooklyn ramp from the upper level during morning hours. The lower level is also accessible.
The MTA also says that more lanes could be closed during off-peak travel times.
The construction is expected to last until 2017.