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City Completes Reconstruction of Historic East 168th Street Step Street in the Bronx

August 30, 2018

DDC: Ian Michaels
DOT: Alana Morales 

(Bronx, NY – August 30, 2018)  NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) Commissioner Lorraine Grillo and NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Polly Trottenberg announced today that the roughly $8 million project to reconstruct the East 168th Street Step Street in the Bronx has been completed. DDC and DOT were joined at the site by Council Member Vanessa L. Gibson, Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr, and State Senator Luis Sepúlveda today to celebrate the reopening of the historic granite structure.

“Step streets are an important part of the transportation network in the Bronx and we’re very pleased to restore this one to its full grandeur,” said DDC Commissioner Lorraine Grillo. “This step street helps the neighborhood connect with public transportation such as the Select Bus Service route on Webster Avenue, local elementary school P.S. 53 and healthcare services at the nearby Triboro Center. DDC is happy to work with DOT to deliver a safe and improved structure back to the community.”

“It has been a pleasure working with DDC, and I applaud the great work they’ve done reconstructing this vital connector between Clay and Teller Avenues,” said DOT Bronx Borough Commissioner Nivardo Lopez. “Over half of the city’s step streets are in the Bronx, making projects like this one important to the everyday lives of all Bronx communities.”

“These Step Streets are a vital part of our borough’s infrastructure, a unique way to travel and get around from Point A to Point B a lot more efficiently throughout our neighborhoods,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “We are highly supportive of these repairs that are being made throughout The Bronx, having previously allocated $3 million for the Highbridge Step Street and $1 million for the Henwood Step Street this year, and we look forward to more improvements being made to our streets. I want to thank DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, DOT Bronx Borough Commissioner Nivardo Lopez and DDC Commissioner Lorriane Grillo; for their support. I hope we can continue to working together building up our streets.”

“Step streets are vital thoroughfares for West Bronx residents and step street upkeep is especially critical for pedestrian and community safety. I’m thrilled that the E. 168 Street Step Street has received this much needed renovation and that Bronx residents will now have an easier, safer time traveling between Clay and Teller Avenues. I commend the Administration and the Department of Design and Construction for investing in the Bronx’s step streets, and for prioritizing a project that improves the safety and appearance of our community,” said Council Member Vanessa L. Gibson.

The East 168th Street Step Street has 102 granite steps in nine separate flights, rising 58 feet in elevation from its lowest point on Clay Avenue to its peak at Teller Avenue. The steps, parapets, copings and a portico where the step street meets Teller Avenue were all originally constructed with decorative granite. Over many decades, the granite had cracked and been discolored, many of the steps fractured and became misaligned and the underlying base of the structure had severely deteriorated.

All the old granite was removed for the project and the concrete base of the step street was completely stabilized and rehabilitated. Entirely new granite was then installed, including 4,000 square feet of Driftwood Granite façade stone and 530 linear feet of Deer Isle Granite coping atop the porticos. Another 1,354 linear feet of Deer Isle Granite was used to craft the 102 new steps. The new granite was procured from Cormier Quarry in Stonington, Maine.

The project also includes new pigmented concrete landings, decorative handrails, new trees, six new decorative light polls, plus new drainage, electrical wiring and sidewalks. At the top of the step street, the portico was also rehabilitated with new granite, seating and a new wooden roof.

The contractor for the project was Gramercy Group. The design consultant was AECOM USA, Inc., and engineering services were provided by Haider Engineering P.C.

There are 64 step streets in the Bronx and since 2008 DDC has worked on nine of them. DDC is currently working with DOT in the Bronx to renovate the West 229th Street Step Street, the West Tremont Avenue Step Street and the Clifford Place Step Street.

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 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