DDC: Ian Michaels, 646-939-6514, Michaelia@ddc.nyc.gov
DOT: Scott Gastel/Lolita Avila, 212-829-4850
(Bronx, NY – August 12, 2020) The NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) and NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC), Department of Environmental Protection (DEP), Bronx Borough President Diaz, Council Member Gibson, and advocates announced today the completion of Phase 3 of the reconstruction of Grand Concourse in the Bronx. This boulevard is a Vision Zero priority corridor as well as one of the four “Great Streets” identified and prioritized by the de Blasio Administration for significant infrastructure and safety improvements. The $26 million project completely rehabilitated eight blocks of the thoroughfare from 171st Street to 175th Street. Safety enhancements included rebuilding roadways, curbs, sidewalks, replacing street lighting and traffic signals and adding new pedestrian safety features such as curb extensions and new wider medians.
Since implementation of Vision Zero in 2014, Grand Concourse from 161st Street to Fordham Road has seen a significant decrease in traffic related injuries and fatalities. Between 2014 and 2017, the total number of injuries were reduced from 286 to 210, in which serious injuries decreased from 28 to 4 injuries. There were two fatalities in 2015, which dropped in comparison to the 8 fatalities in the previous years.
Between 2013 and 2017 the phase 3 portion of Grand Concourse saw 176 injuries and 2 deaths. Construction for this phase began in December 2017 and was managed by DDC for DOT. Phase 4 of the reconstruction of Grand Concourse, extending from 175th Street to Fordham Road began in April and is anticipated to be completed in summer 2023.
“We are excited to announce another milestone in our Great Streets program--this time for Phase 3 along the historic Grand Concourse,” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “Over the years, DOT has lowered the speed limit on this corridor, created a campaign to reduce drunk driving, and now we are thrilled to unveil these amazing new safety enhancements. Thanks to our federal and state partners, as well as elected officials, Bronxnites will now get to enjoy these quality of life changes such as easier commutes, safer crossings, brighter streets, and enhanced scenery.”
“The reconstruction of Grand Concourse is making a major Bronx thoroughfare safer, more beautiful and more pedestrian-friendly,” said DDC Commissioner Lorraine Grillo. “The completion of phase 3 is a major milestone and we look forward to working with DOT to extend these improvements all the way to Fordham Road.”
“Investing in new water mains and drainage infrastructure along the Grand Concourse will help to ensure reliable service and safer streets for the residents and businesses of the Bronx for many decades to come,” said DEP Commissioner Vincent Sapienza. “We thank our partners at DDC for completing this important work and communicating with the community throughout the duration of the project.”
Work also included over 34,000 square yards of repaved roadway on both the main and service roads. More than 95,000 square feet of sidewalk was replaced and 12,750 feet – or almost 2.5 miles – of curbs were restored.
New, wider landscaped and planted medians were added to decrease pedestrian crossing time. New curb extensions, bollards, and high-visibility crosswalks were installed to further enhance pedestrian safety. In addition, the existing bike lane was relocated to the lane adjacent to the median to reduce conflicts between bikes and pedestrians, bicyclists weaving and improve traffic flow.
Sixteen trees were removed in the project area, many in poor condition, and were replaced with 35 new trees, for a net gain of 19. Fifty-one streetlights were restored with new LED light poles. Thirty-three pedestrian ramps were replaced and 23 new ones were installed. A total of 329 feet of sewers and water mains were also restored, along with 11 catch basins to improve drainage.
Notable funding for this phase of the project comes from the de Blasio Administration, Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr, the New York State Department of Transportation, and the Federal Highway Administration.
“Investing in safety enhancements on local streets, like the heavily-used Grand Concourse in the Bronx, benefits pedestrians and motorists who live and work in the area,” said New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez. “New York State DOT was happy to support our city partners as they designed and implemented this very important initiative, benefiting the safety of New Yorkers.”
“The Grand Concourse reconstruction project looks to the future of The Bronx by improving the functionality and overall appearance of a major transportation artery and encouraging the community to use the space in new ways,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “It’s important that Bronxites traveling the Concourse by foot or bicycle feel safe because these methods of transportation are low- to no-cost and environmentally friendly, along with the added health benefits which come from regular exercise and fresh air. I thank the New York City Department of Transportation, the NYC Department of Design and Construction and the New York City Department of Environmental Protection for partnering with me to build a better Bronx for this generation and the next.”
“I commend the NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) and NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) on the completion of Phase 3 of the reconstruction of Grand Concourse in the Bronx,” said Congressman Adriano Espaillat. “This is a significant update that will have a tremendous impact and safety benefits to area residents and pedestrians.”
“It gives me great pleasure to see the South Bronx finally receive the attention it deserves. As a once forgotten borough, these changes will allow for a safer and smooth commute via the Grand Concourse for riders and motorists alike. Phase 3 is one of many projects set to improve the overall quality of life here in the Bronx, and I am ecstatic about the direction we are headed,” said Assembly Member Carmen E. Arroyo.
“As a Bronxite, I have never been more proud to see the progress that we as a borough have made throughout the course of the 'Great Streets' program,” said Assembly Member Victor Pichardo. "Their redesigns included better and efficient lighting, greener paths, safer bike lanes, and expanded sidewalks. As we continue to see the ongoing transformation of the Grand Concourse, I want to thank Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., the De Blasio Administration, NYS Department of Transportation and the Federal Highway Administration for showing their commitment to keeping New York City residents safe, all the while improving the quality of life of all my neighbors.”
“I am happy to hear that Phase 3 of the Grand Concourse reconstruction project is now completed and with it came improvements to our roadways, sidewalk, crosswalks, and bike lanes among other developments,” said Council Member Ydanis Rodriguez, Chairman of The Transportation Committee. “We need to continue improving the safety of our streets, prioritizing cyclist and pedestrians before vehicles. I thank the Bronx Leadership and DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg for all she and her team is doing to keep New Yorkers safe.”
"Before the implementation of Vision Zero, the Grand Concourse and other arterial streets contributed to severe traffic-related injuries and fatalities that posed a threat to many of our residents," said Council Member Vanessa L. Gibson. "With the redesign of these streets, we see a reduction in crashes and an increase in public safety. New Yorkers can once again enjoy these thoroughfares that serve as hubs for entertainment centers, transportation, and small businesses. I want to thank the Department of Transportation, the Department of Design and Construction, the Department of Environmental Protection, Community Board 4, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and Congressman Jose Serrano for all of their work in supporting this critical project in the Bronx. I look forward to Phase 4."
"We applaud the Department of Transportation for completing the third phase of the Grand Concourse reconstruction project. The implementation of wider medians, curb extensions and accessible pedestrian crossings have transformed this segment of the Concourse, and will no doubt contribute to a continued reduction in injuries and fatalities along this corridor," said Transportation Alternatives Director of Organizing Erwin Figueroa. "We look forward to the completion of the next phase, so that all who use the Grand Concourse can have a safe crossing."
The Great Streets program redesigns major corridors across the city in efforts to reduce crashes, enhance mobility, increase accessibility, and bolster neighborhood vitality. To learn more details about the Great Streets program, please visit the link here.
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 $14 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 nyc.gov/ddc.