May 24, 2019
DDC: Ian Michaels, 718-391-1589, firstname.lastname@example.org
DOT: Lolita Avila, 212-839-4850, email@example.com
(Bronx, NY - May 24,2019) The NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) and NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) joined local elected officials today to mark the re-opening of the renovated West 229th Street Step Street, which connects Heath Avenue at its lowest point to Kingsbridge Terrace at its highest in the hilly terrain of the western Bronx. Construction began in summer 2017 and was completed at a cost of $10.7 million. DDC managed the construction for DOT.
“Step streets are an important part of the local landscape, and this particular step street was used by residents to access important bus routes, as well as P.S. 360 and the Kingsbridge Community Center,” said DDC Commissioner Lorraine Grillo. “We’ve very pleased along with DOT to return this safer, restored structure to the community.”
“The 229 Street Step Street is a staple in this community and we are overjoyed to present these quality of life enhancements,” said DOT Bronx Borough Commissioner Nivardo Lopez. “With newly renovated steps, handrails, and bicycle channels, hundreds of residents and pedestrians can now have a safer and more seamless daily commute. A special thanks go to Council Member Fernando Cabrera as well as our sister agency DDC for prioritizing the needs of this community and ensuring that these improvements became a reality.”
“Step streets are a common feature of the West Bronx landscape and add to the visual attractiveness of the area,” said Council Member Fernando Cabrera. “I was here for the 2017 groundbreaking for this project and looked forward to its completion, since its deterioration created dangerous conditions and forced community residents to find longer routes between Heath Avenue and Kingsbridge Terrace. I’m very happy today to see reconstruction of the West 229th Street Step Street completed, enhancing walkability, access to public transit, safety and restoring an easy and familiar pedestrian route. I’m proud to have worked with NYC DOT and DDC to make this happen.”
The concrete step street is approximately 230 feet long with 10 flights of stairs, nine landings, and an elevation difference of 65 feet from top to bottom. On either side of the stairs are sloped terraces with concrete pavers and outer retaining walls.
The reconstruction project replaced the stairs in their entirety with new granite steps, built to meet modern safety and construction standards. Outer stone retaining walls were repaired, and sloped concrete terraces and pavers were replaced with new granite pavers set in a concrete bedding. New trees, drainage and lighting systems were installed, as well as benches at two of the step street’s landings.
New bicycle channels on both sides of the new stairs allow people to more easily walk bikes up and down. To further improve pedestrian safety, sidewalks were widened at the crosswalks at Kingsbridge Terrace and at Heath Avenue.
The contractor for the project was Padilla Construction Services, Inc., of Westbury, NY. The design consultant was AECOM USA, Inc. of Manhattan.