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January 25, 2017

Myrtle-Cooper Plaza Project Bringing New Pedestrian Areas and Upgrades to Traffic Safety

DDC Engineer-in-Charge Nathalie Pierre-Georges oversees project to provide safe access for Glendale residents

Shavone Williams 

Glendale, NY –  Residents of Glendale, Queens near the intersection of Myrtle and Cooper Avenues will soon benefit from a $3.4 million project that will add 5,300-square-feet of new pedestrian space to the area while realigning local streets, calming traffic, and increasing safety under Mayor de Blasio’s ‘Vision Zero’ initiative. The project, which began in spring 2016 and is scheduled to end in spring 2017, is being managed by the New York City Department of Design and Construction (DDC) for the New York City Department of Transportation (DOT).

Melissa Ward shows off her engagement ring
DDC is managing plaza and infrastructure upgrades at Myrtle and Cooper Avenues in Queens

"Myrtle-Cooper Plaza will calm traffic and bring new pedestrian space to a bustling commercial strip,” said DDC Commissioner Feniosky Peña-Mora. “Our experience working with complicated intersections around the City has shown that pedestrian space can be increased and access to businesses can be expanded while maintaining or even improving the flow of traffic. We look forward to making the neighborhood more appealing for all its various uses.”

The short block on 70th Street between Myrtle and Cooper Avenues has been converted into a new 4,200-square-foot pedestrian plaza that will encompass the memorial that was built in 1921 to honor 21 Glendale residents who died in combat during World War I. The space will provide additional space for annual parades and tree lighting ceremonies, and will include tables and chairs, benches, new trees, cobble paving stones and other decorative paving, a drinking fountain, a new granite wall surrounding the memorial, a flag pole, and new stone curbs with planters.

DDC Engineer-in-Charge Nathalie Pierre-Georges oversees the $3.4 million project to realign streets and pedestrian safety at Myrtle and Cooper Avenues in Queens.

Another shorter block on the other end of the bowtie-shaped intersection – 71st Street between Myrtle and Cooper Avenues – is also being converted into a smaller pedestrian area. The project scope includes new infrastructure throughout the project area, such as water mains, catch basins to improve drainage, new fire hydrants, sidewalk realignment, and street lighting upgrades. The project also includes amenities such as bike racks, planters, bus shelters, drinking fountains, outdoor seating, and decorative paving.

DDC Engineer-In-Charge Nathalie Pierre-Georges supervises the project and devises solutions for the numerous construction or field condition challenges that arise weekly. Born in Canada and raised in Haiti, Nathalie obtained her civil engineering degree at the University of Sherbrooke and moved to America in 2000. She has been an employee with DDC for 10 years and has worked in both the design and construction divisions of the agency. Currently, she oversees two other sewer and water main projects in south Queens. Prior to DDC, she worked at a consultant firm with a portfolio of several DDC projects.

“This project is different compared to others I have managed at DDC. I tend to focus on underground infrastructure projects which include water mains, catch basins and sewers, and the public can’t see this once construction is complete. This project is a first for me because it includes pedestrian areas. Once the project is complete, I can’t wait to show my kids and tell them, ‘Look this is what Mommy worked on!’” said DDC Engineer-In-Charge, Nathalie Pierre Georges

Myrtle Avenue has been a major roadway in Queens since the early 1800’s and was named after the myrtle trees that once grew in the area. The thoroughfare was originally constructed out of wooden planks to provide a passageway for stagecoaches and bus services.

The design the new plaza upgrades at Myrtle and Cooper Avenues were completed by DDC consultant NV5, and construction is being performed by general contractor Triumph Construction Corporation of the Bronx.

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 lenses of growth, sustainability, resiliency, equity and healthy living, DDC provides communities with new or renovated public buildings such as such as firehouses, libraries, police precincts, new or upgraded roadways, sewers, water mains in all five boroughs. To manage this $15 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