City agencies, elected officials and advocates recently announced the completion of Phase 3 of the reconstruction of the Grand Concourse.
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 171 Street to 175 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 161 Street to Fordham Road has seen a significant decrease in traffic related injuries and fatalities. Between 2014 and 2017, the total number of injuries was reduced from 286 to 210, in which serious injuries decreased from 28 to four injuries. There were two fatalities in 2015, which dropped in comparison to the eight fatalities in the previous years.
Between 2013 and 2017 the Phase 3 portion of Grand Concourse saw 176 injuries and two deaths. Construction for this phase began in December 2017 and was managed by the Department of Design and Construction for the Department of Transportation. 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.”
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 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 ones. 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.
“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 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.”
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 https://www.nycdotplan.nyc/transform-high-crash-arterial-roads-vision-zero-great-streets.