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City Begins Reconstruction of West Tremont Avenue Step Street in the Bronx

May 4, 2018

Ian Michaels

Bronx, NY – NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) Acting Commissioner Ana Barrio and NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) Bronx Borough Commissioner Nivardo Lopez joined Councilmember Vanessa L. Gibson and Congressman Adriano Espaillat today to break ground on the $8 million renovation of the West Tremont Avenue Step Street, which connects Cedar Avenue and Sedgwick Avenue in the hilly terrain of Morris Heights. The project, which began demolition on April 26, is expected to be completed in fall 2019.

An artist’s rendering of the renovated West Tremont Avenue Step Street
An artist’s rendering of the renovated West Tremont Avenue Step Street

“Step streets are critical connectors in many areas of the Bronx where the terrain is too steep for regular streets,” said NYC Department of Design and Construction Acting Commissioner Ana Barrio. “The West Tremont Avenue Step Street helps provide access to public transportation such as the Morris Heights Metro-North station and other important local landmarks such as public schools and Roberto Clemente State Park. We’re pleased to work with DOT to make the step street and the street at its base both safer and more beautiful for the community.”

“The West Tremont Avenue Step Street provides residents in Morris Heights with a connection from Cedar Avenue to Sedgwick Avenue, and access to parks and transportation,” said DOT Bronx Borough Commissioner Nivardo Lopez.  “It is a vital link in this community’s pedestrian network, and I am happy to partner with DDC and Councilmember Gibson to ensure that we are keeping this step street in a state of good repair – creating a safer, more efficient passageway for residents and visitors of this neighborhood.”

“Step streets are vital thoroughfares for West Bronx residents and step street upkeep is critical for pedestrian and community safety,” said Councilmember Vanessa Gibson. “I’m thrilled that the West Tremont Avenue Step Street is receiving a much needed renovation and look forward to seeing a newer, safer, and more beautiful staircase here in the future.

“The renovation project to revitalize the West Tremont Avenue Step Street will have a tremendous impact on the commercial corridor while improving pedestrian accessibility throughout the Bronx,” said Congressman Adriano Espaillat (NY-13). “The installation of new lighting, benches, handrails and landscaping further promotes pedestrian safety, which is among one of my top priorities. I commend Council Member Gibson, DDC, and DOT on this long awaited project, which improves the accessibility of public transportation and local businesses and housing.”

Built prior to 1915, the West Tremont Avenue Step Street is 35 feet high, and when renovated will have 70 new granite steps with five pigmented concrete landings between them. New street lighting and benches will be installed, along with new steel handrails. The areas to either side of the steps will be landscaped and regraded, with new paving stones installed.

In addition to work on the steps, the small section of West Tremont Avenue that leads to Cedar Avenue will be reconstructed, with new sewers that will be connected to a new drainage system in the step street. The street will also receive new sidewalks and catch basins for storm drainage.

The West Tremont Avenue Step Street prior to renovation
The West Tremont Avenue Step Street prior to renovation

To manage the needs of residents and businesses during construction, DDC has assigned a full-time Community Construction Liaison (CCL) to the project. CCL Lisa Alfred will keep the neighborhood apprised of construction progress, and will coordinate the street closure and any special requests. She is directly accessible to the public and can be reached at 718-732-0022 or by email at

The project is being managed in the field for DDC by Resident Engineer Ketty Paulino, who recently was named “Young Government Civil Engineer of the Year” by the American Society of Civil Engineers Metropolitan Section. Ms. Paulino, 26, is a resident of the Castle Hill section of the Bronx, and has helped to manage several Bronx projects for DDC including a $39 million water and sewer project on Bainbridge and Jerome avenues in Norwood.

The Bronx’s step streets were highlighted in a 2012 real estate story in The New York Times. In February 2016, DDC and DOT completed another step street reconstruction at West 215th Street in Manhattan. DDC is currently working to renovate three other step streets in the Bronx, including the West 229th Street Step Street, which connects Heath Avenue to Kingsbridge Terrace.

The contractor for the project is LAWS Construction Corporation of Pleasantville, NY. The design consultant is AECOM of Manhattan.

About the NYC Department of Design and Construction
The Department of Design and Construction is the City’s primary capital construction project manager. In supporting Mayor de Blasio’s long-term vision of growth, sustainability, resiliency, equity and healthy living, DDC provides communities with new or renovated public buildings such as firehouses, libraries, police precincts, and new or upgraded roads, sewers and water mains in all five boroughs. To manage this $13 billion portfolio, DDC partners with other City agencies, architects and consultants, whose experience bring efficient, innovative and environmentally-conscious design and construction strategies to City projects. For more information, please visit