Residents hear update on Pel Pkwy northside reconstruction

Answering residents’ concerns over the Pelham Parkway North Reconstruction Project at a meeting Monday, October 2, are, from left to right: John Fratta, Eric MacFarlane, Thomas Alexander, and Ahmed Ibrahim. The meeting was at the NY Institute for Special Education, 999 Pelham Parkway North.
Community News Group/Bob Guiliano

Residents affected by the Pelham Parkway North Reconstruction Project heard city officials explain the project’s details and asked questions during a meeting Monday, October 2.

The NYC Department of Design and Construction assigned Thomas Alexander as the on-site Community Construction Liaison, and he walked the attendees through a slide show in an auditorium at the New York Institute for Special Education, 999 Pelham Parkway.

Making the presentation along with Alexander were DDC Deputy Commissioner Eric MacFarlane and resident engineer Ahmed Ibrahim.

The event was moderated by John Fratta, Community Board 11’s project liaison, who assured the audience that the community board is confident that a lot of the demands it made have been met.

Fratta said a big issue involves the preservation of trees, noting that there’s an agreement that before any trees can be removed, the Pelham Parkway Preservation Task Force gets to meet with DDC.

So, before any trees are removed, the task force can let its own arborist examine them to determine if they can be saved.

The project goal is to upgrade aging underground utilities and infrastructure and to address deficiencies within Pelham Parkway’s westbound main road and service road, such as poor drainage, lane width and pavement deterioration, according to Alexander.

The project includes plans to replace water mains, including a new trunk water main; replace sewers, including new highway drains in the main road; reconstruct Pelham Parkway North from Bronx Park East to Eastchester Road and at Stillwell Avenue.

Utilities will be affected, and Con Edison will need to relocate its facilities to accommodate the proposed sewers and water mains.

There is about 10,000 linear feet of gas main on Pelham Parkway North between Boston Road and Stillwell Avenue that needs to be relocated in order to clear a path for the 48-inch trunk water main, according to Alexander.

There is also a transmission gas main relocation at the corner of Pelham Parkway North and Bronxwood Avenue.

A member of the audience complained about the anticipated project schedule running four years from the summer of 2017 to summer of 2021.

She said the area is still suffering from the Pelham Parkway mall project, and questioned how the selected contractor was able to be the lowest bidder.

She also questioned the lack of work of workcrews on many days that seemed to prolong the project.

MacFarlane responded that the project on this north side is going to take that long because of the large water main that has to be installed, requiring things like gas mains and electric lines to be relocated.

And he assured that the work schedule doesn’t have big gaps in it.

Another resident questioned why the contractor on the previously completed eastbound roadway laid asphalt in the winter and didn’t realize it would crumble.

MacFarlane took the blame for that, saying the city directed the contractor to finish laying the asphalt in the winter, and said that the contractor will go back and fix it.

If residents believe the project isn’t moving along as well as anticipated, they are encouraged to contact Alexander at (347) 810-1386, and email address: He can also be emailed photos of any problems.

Reach Reporter Bob Guiliano at (718) 260-4599. E-mail him at

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