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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Release #07-108

Grand Concourse Renewal on Pace for Early Completion

New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan and Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrión Jr. today announced that the planned 45-month renovation of key roadways in the Grand Concourse/161st Street area of the Bronx will be wrapped up in November 2008 - a full 316 days ahead of schedule.

As part of the original renovation contract, DOT reserved the option to accelerate the schedule if the contractor met key milestones. In response to Borough President Carrión's call for accelerating the project, and in light of the contractor's demonstrated ability to speed up the work, DOT has successfully negotiated for the faster pace.

"In January, 2006 we began a project to put the "grand" back into the Grand Concourse," said DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. "We're very pleased to have the chance to complete the project 11 months early, and to give the community both relief from construction and a Grand Concourse worthy of its name."

Added Borough President Carrión: "This project is an example of smart construction and planning by the Department, the community and the contractor. Finishing almost a year ahead of schedule is further proof of some of the great work that the Department is doing. The Bronx is booming and projects like this will help continue this boom."

The project is reconstructing the Grand Concourse from E. 161st Street to E. 166th Street; and E. 161st Street from Sheridan Avenue to Gerard Avenue, including the Grand Concourse underpass. The NYCDOT is replacing the E. 161st Street underpass arch structure, incorporating landscaped urban design features for Lou Gehrig Plaza and adding more open space to the neighborhood.

Work began in the area in January 2006 and was scheduled for completion in September 2009.

In addition to the reconstruction, the NYCDOT will upgrade street lighting, and add green space, benches and trash receptacles. The reconstruction plan is designed to improve pedestrian and traffic safety, while other plans include revitalizing neighborhood infrastructure with new roadways, sidewalks, dedicated bicycle lanes, trees and planters.

Traffic Mitigation

NYPD Intersection Control Agents will continue to be deployed at key intersections to facilitate the flow of traffic in and around the construction area. Variable Message Boards and Construction Signage are in place within the construction area and also at key locations in the surrounding area.

Keeping You Informed

By keeping the community informed, we hope to minimize any inconvenience that may occur as a result of construction activities at the bridge site. NYC DOT will continue to issue newsletters, travel advisories and project updates during the course of the project. Questions regarding the project may be addressed to the Community Liaison, Onyinye Akujuo, at (347) 386-9375, via fax at (718) 410-2462. If there is a concern during non-construction hours, please call the New York City Government Services and Information Hotline at 311.

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