THE BRONX - Planned construction aims to relieve some of the congestion on the Unionport Bridge.

The 63-year-old bridge is notorious for its traffic and overdue for a facelift, some drivers say. The city's Department of Transportation plans to start the work next year.

The planned upgrades include three lanes on each side, plus a bike lane, according to Community Board 10 member John Morano.

The bridge spans the Westchester Creek, and usually results in traffic at the end intersecting Bruckner Boulevard and Brush Avenue.

Community Board 10 has requested additional traffic agents at the location to ease some of the congestion while the work is underway.

Critics say that in the short term, the work could lead to headaches.

City Councilman James Vacca said in a statement that he "anticipates some disruptions and inconveniences during the construction period."

Morano says the long-term benefits outweigh those negatives.

Construction could take as long as 44 months.