Press Releases

June 4, 2024
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New York City and State to Develop Concepts to Cap Cross Bronx Expressway, Release New Reports on Issues Related to the Corridor

City and state seizing once-in-a generation opportunity to reimagine the Cross Bronx corridor and develop concepts with the community to lessen the highway’s negative effects on surrounding neighborhoods

Officials to begin process to develop a vision for the future of the Cross Bronx Expressway at upcoming workshops, starting June 8

NEW YORK – New York City Mayor Eric Adams, New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DOT) Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez, New York City Department of City Planning (DCP) Director Dan Garodnick, New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan, and New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez announced today plans to develop concepts to improve communities around the Cross Bronx Expressway, including potential capping in appropriate areas, and released two new reports outlining the key issues experienced by people who live, work, and travel around the corridor.

"There's a reason they call the communities in and around the South Bronx 'Asthma Alley'—while essential for cars, our highway infrastructure, especially the Cross Bronx Expressway, does real damage to quality of life and health outcomes for the communities that surround it," said Deputy Mayor for Operations Meera Joshi. "We are working in historic collaboration with the State to reconnect communities torn apart by the Cross Bronx—delivering cleaner neighborhoods and better health outcomes across the borough."

"We are seizing a once-in-a-generation opportunity to reimagine the Cross Bronx Expressway to right historic inequities and improve the quality of life for Bronxites," said NYC DOT Commissioner Ydanis Rodriguez. "Working with the community, we look forward to advancing concepts to cap the expressway and build a better future for the corridor."

"Communities thrive when residents can come together and shape their vision for the future," said Health Commissioner Dr. Ashwin Vasan. "Proposals like this are crucial as they allow us to create a healthier New York City for everyone, particularly for those in the Bronx who experience high rates of asthma."

"For too long, the Cross Bronx Expressway has divided and harmed the communities of the Bronx and all of New York City," said DCP Director Dan Garodnick. "We've heard these issues loud and clear, and the release of these reports and upcoming workshops mark an important step forward to begin to foster safer, healthier, stronger, and more connected communities."

"The reports released today represent the voices of the people most impacted by the Cross Bronx Expressway, and they want change - change in the form of more greenspace and recreational opportunities, better air quality and improved health, and enhanced safety for Bronx residents," said New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez. "Most of all they want a better quality of life for themselves and their families, one that is significantly hampered by a highway literally at their front doorstep. Working with our community-based partners, we continue to listen to and learn from local residents, which will directly inform future work in, on and around the corridor. We are all working with the same goal in mind – to Reimagine the Cross Bronx Expressway – and today we took a meaningful step forward in making this reimagining a reality."

In December 2022, NYC Mayor Eric Adams kicked off a landmark study to Reimagine the Cross Bronx, accompanied by, among others, Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez of NYSDOT, representing Governor Kathy Hochul. The U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) is funding this study with a $2 million grant as part of the Rebuilding American Infrastructure with Sustainability and Equity (RAISE) program.

At upcoming June workshops, the city will begin the process to develop a vision for the future of the Cross Bronx Expressway, including both short term improvements and longer-term investments, which could include capping of some sections. Workshop facilitators will work with participants on focus areas and collect top priorities from community members as the process kicks off.

The two reports released today build on over a year of community feedback to identify significant challenges experienced by people who live, work, and travel around the Cross Bronx Expressway, including:

  • Limited public transit
  • Traffic congestion, noise pollution, and poor air quality
  • Lack of access to greenways, recreation, and parks
  • Higher asthma rates and public health concerns
  • The need for additional intersection safety improvements

The reports are part of New York's Reimagine the Cross Bronx study, a multi-agency transportation and planning effort launched in December 2022 to help reconnect the communities divided by the expressway and lessen the negative effects on surrounding neighborhoods. From spring to fall 2023, city and state agencies heard from over 900 individuals about their experiences living, working, and traveling near the expressway as part of the 'Issue Identification' phase of the study. Agencies also researched and analyzed existing physical and social conditions. The reports released today include:

Building on successful previous rounds of outreach, agencies will hold a new round of public workshops beginning Saturday, June 8, to discuss potential concepts that respond to the identified issues. In fall 2024, the team will refine concepts and begin a new round of outreach to solicit feedback from the community on the proposals.

Reimagine the Cross Bronx: Identified Issues

The findings of the reports issued today will guide the upcoming phases of the study. Many of the identified issues stem from years of inequitable conditions and practices. Partner agencies will help communities reimagine the Cross Bronx through actionable next steps, which may include project concepts or further research.

Based on the research, data analysis and community outreach conducted, the study team found issues in the following key categories:

  • Connected communities:
    • Many residents struggle with the limited options for public transit.
    • Freight movement accounts for one in five vehicles on the Cross Bronx, and while they are essential for economic vitality, freight can also contribute to congestions, noise pollution, and poor air quality.
    • Frequent highway ramps along with inconsistent pedestrian bicycle infrastructure also create mobility gaps.
  • Healthy communities:
    • Only half of all residents living within the study area reside within walking distance of greenways, recreation centers, or parks that are six acres or larger.
    • Residents of the study area experience disproportionately high rates of poor health compared to the rest of the city, with child ER visits for asthma due to air pollution four times more likely.
    • Noise and air pollution from the highway poses health risks to the surrounding communities.
  • Safe communities:
    • There are five Vision Zero priority intersections and 13 Vision Zero priority corridors within the study area.
      • NYC DOT prioritize these locations for interventions that increase roadway safety, however certain intersections and roads experience crashes that cause severe pedestrian injuries.
    • Climate change concerns like extreme heat disproportionately affect those living in the study area, with heath related hospitalizations two times more likely compared to city wide averages.
  • Strong communities:
    • Residents of neighborhoods surrounding the Cross Bronx corridor are overburdened and underserved.
    • This is due to many intersecting inequalities, and the presence of the highway is just one of these inequalities.
    • Residents can face increased barriers to accessing resources such as jobs and stable and healthy housing.
    • Communities around the Cross Bronx are proud of their history and are concerned about changes that could contribute to the loss of their creative legacies.
    • Residents also wish to have ongoing opportunities to weigh in on the transformation of the corridor.

Outreach Schedule

This new round of workshops will provide an opportunity for public input, questions, and comments. Spanish, Bengali and American Sign language interpretation will be provided. Families are encouraged to participate. The study team will be sharing a toolkit of concepts at in-person and virtual workshops and through the Community Partners program.

In-Person: Saturday, June 8, 2024, from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Virtual: Thursday, June 13, 2024, from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Website Resources

The project website is a one-stop-shop for all resources related to Reimagine the Cross Bronx. For updated information on the latest events, opportunities for community engagement, details on goals and timeline, materials from meetings, reports from Open House workshops, and opportunities for further connection, visit The Spanish website is available at

"The Cross Bronx Expressway is one of the greatest examples of environmental racism in our city that has divided communities from the Harlem River to the Hutchinson River," said Bronx Borough President Vanessa L. Gibson. "We are grateful for the feedback from our community members highlighting the Cross Bronx Expressway's role in contributing to hazardous air and noise pollution and the need for additional transportation options, green spaces, and safety improvements. I look forward to our continued work with New York City Mayor Eric Adams, the New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DOT) Commissioner, the New York City Department of City Planning (DCP), New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (DOHMH), and the New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner to ensure active community engagement and participation and that our residents play a vital role in shaping the vision for the future of the Cross Bronx Expressway."

"I am grateful for the hard work of NYC DOT, DOHMH, and our other government partners on New York's Reimagine the Cross Bronx study," said Congressman Ritchie Torres (NY-15). "Considering the devastating presence of the highway on the livelihood and health of my Bronx constituents, the capping of the highway is one of the steps that can be taken to reduce the harmful effects. I will continue to be a strong advocate for this solution and eagerly await the results of this new round of outreach."

"I commend New York City Mayor Adams and Department of Transportation Commissioner Rodriguez for their ongoing commitment to ensuring public engagement and outreach as part of our collective efforts to reimagine the Cross Bronx," said Congressman Adriano Espaillat (NY-13). "Identifying the challenges and expressing the priorities of the Bronx community is an important first step to ensure the Cross Bronx Expressway is responsive and reflective to the needs of residents who will be directly impacted and call New York City home."

"Today's announcement marks a pivotal moment in transforming the Cross Bronx Expressway from a divider to a connector of our vibrant communities," said Senator Robert Jackson. "Together with our city and state partners, we are committed to addressing the deep-seated challenges our neighborhoods face—from improving public health and safety to enhancing mobility and access to green spaces. This is a step towards not just reimagining infrastructure, but revitalizing the spirit and resilience of our communities. Let's continue to build on this progress, ensuring every voice is heard and every area flourishes."

"The Reimagine the Cross Bronx initiative embodies our commitment to fostering a safer, healthier, and more connected community," said Senator Nathalia Fernandez. "I commend the Department of Transportation for their continuous engagement with residents and stakeholders. Together, we're tackling critical challenges such as limited transit options, traffic congestion, and health concerns. From addressing high asthma rates in the South Bronx to enhancing access to green spaces, we are taking steps to reverse the impact of the Cross Bronx Expressway and pave the way for a healthier future for the thousands who call the South Bronx home."

"Loving the Bronx and Morris Park Business Improvement District applaud the plans to develop new improvement concepts leading to a better quality of life for the communities around the Cross Bronx expressway, and especially including potential capping in appropriate areas," said Nilka Martell, founder of "Loving the Bronx" and Dr. Camelia Tepelus of the Morris Park Business Improvement District. "The two reports released today - on identified issues and engagement – demonstrate an extensive range of potential interventions. We look forward to continuing the productive collaboration with the multi-agency project partners, and plan together both short term, and long-term improvements for the shared benefit to the expressway, and to the Bronx communities around it."

"Along with other nonprofits we had the honor of connecting with hundreds of Bronx residents to understand how the Cross Bronx Expressway impacts their lives currently," said Quentin Ball, executive director of I Challenge Myself. "We have been eagerly anticipating the summary report of these impacts and look forward to working with community members to gather their feedback on the findings."