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Traffic is will be affected nightly well into 2014 on the Kensington Expressway as the state Department of Transportation initiates $18.4 million in two improvement projects on one of the region’s main commuter routes.

Susan S. Surdej, regional spokeswoman for the state Department of Transportation, said crews will resurface 43 lane miles between the Elm/Oak arterial to Harlem Road, including entrance and exit ramps. The project also will replace traffic signs, and clean and repair drainage systems, she said.

The work is already requiring significant lane closures and restrictions, and as a result is conducted primarily at night. Posted detours will be in place and monitored to ensure traffic flow, Surdej said. Drainage work and sign replacements will take place during off-peak daytime hours, she added.

“The goal is to reduce the inconvenience to drivers as much as possible on this high-volume expressway,” she said, adding completion date is slated for June 30, 2014.

Another project, due to be completed this fall, involves rehabilitating four bridges over the Kensington in Cheektowaga and Buffalo. They are over Union Road, Deerfield Avenue, Hospital Drive and East Delavan Avenue.

“During the ongoing construction, traffic will be maintained on the Kensington Expressway in both directions,” she said. “Work requiring lane closures on the Kensington Expressway will be done at night or during off-peak travel hours to minimize the impact on motorists.”

The Kensington closures scheduled for this week are:

Inbound between Suffolk Street and East Delavan Avenue will involve daily lane closures through Friday from 9 a.m. until 3 p.m., and nightly from 7 p.m. until 7 a.m.

Outbound between Tupper and Elm streets and Hospital Drive will involve daily lane closures through Friday from 6 a.m. until 3 p.m., and nightly from 6 p.m. until 6 a.m.

Surdej said a 2014 resurfacing project from Harlem Road to Genesee Street will also clean and repair drainage systems, replace and upgrade the guide rail and traffic signs.

A public meeting for the project, now in the design phase, is slated for tonight between 5 and 7 p.m. at Alumni Hall of Maryvale High School.

email: rmccarthy@buffnews.com