NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Some good news for some city drivers: The MTA announced Wednesday they are about to expedite one of the ways to get into Manhattan.

Construction has begun on a new transit project that will save city drivers an average of nine hours behind the wheel per year, reports CBS2’s Tara Jakeway.

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A new ramp will shorten the journey from the RFK-Triboro Bridge to the Harlem River Drive.

“That’s excellent, that’s really good if they build a ramp for less traffic, that’s good,” said resident Hazel McIntyre.

The 1,200-foot ramp will sit on 11 support piers rising near the Willis Avenue Bridge, allowing drivers on this route to bypass city streets for the first time in 83 years.

“It’s easier if you come off the RFK straight to northbound, and straight to George Washington Bridge,” said New Jersey commuter Brigesh Patel.

Currently, people who exit the RFK-Triboro at 125th then are funneled into a roundabout by Second Avenue. The heavy traffic passes by local businesses, bus stops, a playground and a recreation of a famous Keith Harrington mural.

“It’s the best decision they ever made because I believe it’s going to be safe, for the car and for us,” said resident Mercedes Pimentel.

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Pedestrians like Pimentel say the ramp could not come soon enough.

“I almost got killed over there,” she said.

She walks across Second Avenue at 126th Street daily, right past where the cars currently funnel into East Harlem.

In 2019, a cyclist was killed by a driver making an illegal turn off the half-mile loop.

“I myself have almost been hit by cars walking across the street,” said resident Katie Donovan.

In addition to increasing safety and efficiency, the new ramp will have a positive impact on the environment, lowering CO2 emissions by 2,500 tons per year.

The ramp is expected to cost $48 million. Officials say it will be done in under 15 months.

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The project is being funded through the MTA Bridges and Tunnel’s 2015-2019 Capital Plan.