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Building a Safer and Greener New York

DDC is committed to building cost-effective and environmentally friendly infrastructure that improves the lives of everyday New Yorkers. While managing major infrastructure projects in a city like New York presents unique challenges, DDC works tirelessly alongside partner agencies to deliver results.

DDC infrastructure projects work to reduce flooding in our neighborhoods, make roads safer for cyclists and pedestrians, and much more. While some of our projects are entirely new construction, many are replacements or renovations for aging infrastructure throughout the five boroughs.

Below you can learn about five infrastructure projects that DDC recently completed.

Starlight Park

new bridge in Starlight Park

DDC managed two capital projects as a part of the $41 million effort to expand Starlight Park in the Bronx. DDC began work on these projects in 2017 with the goal of converting 2.7 acres of industrial property into greenspace.

The expansion of Starlight Park includes the addition of two new bridges, one going across the Bronx River itself and another across an Amtrak rail line. The added greenspace features new lighting, 4,000 feet of pathways, and a dog run. During DDC’s work on Starlight Park 140 trees and around 12,000 shrubs were planted.

These projects closed a large gap in the Bronx River Greenway and provided more residents living in the South Bronx with access to outdoor recreation. Along with the expansion, DDC also recently completed the Bronx River House, an environmental learning lab located inside the park.

Beach 108th Street

new bike lane along Beach 10th Street

DDC worked alongside several NYC agencies to complete the Beach 108th Street reconstruction in Rockaway. DDC began work on the $16.6 million project, which runs from Beach Channel Drive to Shore Front Parkway, in March of 2021.

To make the area Beach 108th less prone to flooding, DDC and its partner agencies worked to replace or repair over 1,100 feet of storm sewers and around 6,000 feet of water mains. The project also made use of more than 11,000 square feet of permeable concrete slabs, which are better equipped than traditional concrete to handle water runoff.

While resiliency was a priority, this project also aimed to improve the corridor itself. Cyclists now have access to a two-way bike lane that connects the ferry terminal directly to the boardwalk. Pedestrians walking along Beach 108th street are now safer thanks to an expansion of the road’s sidewalks and crosswalks.

New Creek Bluebelt

New Creek wetland

DDC worked in collaboration with other agencies including Department of Transportation (DOT) and Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) on a $110 project to expand the New Creek Bluebelt in Staten Island. Bluebelts make use of natural drainage systems such as wetlands and streams to handle stormwater runoff and protect NYC neighborhoods.

The newly expanded New Creek Bluebelt now covers 94 acres and drains stormwater in a 2,249-acre area. DDC Commissioner Thomas Foley, who served as Resident Engineer on the City’s first ever Bluebelt project 25 years ago, stated, “Bluebelts are an efficient and environmentally sensitive way to manage stormwater while preserving open space and beautifying communities.”

Finding cost-effective ways to reduce flooding is a priority at DDC and the Bluebelt Program helps the agency reach that goal. DDC hopes to bring the Bluebelt program to other boroughs including Brooklyn and Queens in the future.

Water Supply & Super Sidewalks

newly renovated portion of 9th avenue

DDC teamed up with DEP to replace over 14 miles of water mains and sewers as part of a $231 million project on 9th Avenue in Manhattan. The work, which involved replacing water mains that were as much as a century old, was necessary to ensure that NYC residents have access to water with minimal breaks, flooding, or other disturbances.

In total, 18,000 feet of steel water mains and 51,000 feet of iron water mains were installed. DDC, alongside DOT, then used the opportunity presented by the water distribution work to make enhancements to the overall design of 9th Avenue. A traffic lane was replaced with expanded sidewalks and a protected bike lane in addition to other safety improvements.

Planned upcoming work will involve stretching these improvements farther south along 9th Avenue as well as beginning a similar redesign along 10th Avenue. Known as “Super Sidewalks,” these improvements continue our effort to make New York City streets safer and more efficient.

Pelham Parkway

upgraded bus stop and new bus lane on Pelham Parkway

DDC recently completed Phase 2 of the Pelham Parkway Reconstruction project in the Bronx. The scope of the project included crucial drainage and safety improvements along with the addition of a bus-only lane along the corridor.

The new 1.7-mile bus lane added to Pelham Parkway primarily serves the BX12 select bus, which is the busiest bus route in the Bronx. DDC also added new seating and detectable warning strips to 12 bus stops along the route. To improve pedestrian safety on the roadway, 240 streetlights and 70 traffic lights were upgraded. New curbs and sidewalks were built along the road and 141 pedestrian ramps were rebuilt to be ADA compliant.

Over the course of the project DDC installed over 8,000 feet of new storm sewers and reconstructed another 2,000 feet. Over 9,000 feet of water mains were installed and over 25,000 feet of distribution water mains were replaced. These improvements, along with the addition of 191 catch basins and 254 news trees, will make Pelham Parkway less prone to flooding.