Two sides of the Bruckner Boulevard sure ‘paint’ a different picture for those who travel on it daily.
Presently, the westbound side of the elevated highway, stretching from the RFK Bridge to the Sheridan Expressway, bears a fresh coat of vivid green paint, however its eastern counterpart is still a weathered drab gray-green.
This stark contrast is very visable to motorists driving beneath the Bruckner Expressway.
According to New York State Department of Transportation, a portion of the Bruckner Expressway bridge was painted with funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
However, the $28 million in funding for the project was not adequate to complete the entire bridge, which left half the elevated highway structure and four ramps unfinished, encompassing more than three miles of steel.
The NYSDOT opted to paint the side of the expressway which faces the majority of residences and businesses, knowing the funding was inadequate to complete the entire job.
There is currently no active project in the works to finish the paint worke, however NYSDOT said this matter will be taken into consideration should funding become available once again.
Dr. Ian Amritt, Community Board 2 chairman would like to see this project completed.
He said that his community is undergoing an extensive revitalization and he hopes that the Bruckner Expressway will soon follow suit.
“It shouldn’t be an eyesore,” expressed Dr. Amritt.
This area has seen the ground breaking for the brand new Crossings Mall and the re-beautification of the Hunts Point Avenue IRT 6 train station plaza.
In addition, Metro North service is slated for arrival in Hunts Point, with an expected date of 2018.
“We’re going to contact our state elected officials and have them advocate on our behalf in Albany with the State DOT to see if they can get the capital funds to complete this project,” explained Dr. Amritt. “The community board will be putting together a letter to the State DOT advocating for the completion of this project.”
Senator Jeffrey Klein expressed the following regarding this matter, “As part of my recently proposed New Deal for New York, the IDC plans to reinvest $5 billion in restitution monies from financial crimes right back into our local communities and into the pockets of our hardworking people.”
“Repainting the Bruckner Expressway is exactly the type of public works project that would be eligible for funding under my new Community Jobs Program and it’s exactly the type of project that would not only benefit our community, but create good-paying jobs for unemployed, job seeking New Yorkers right here in the Bronx,” he added.
Despite the Bruckner Expressway’s setback, NYSDOT is working diligently to aid contractors in a host of other restoration projects throughout the borough, cited Diane Park, NYSDOT - Region 11 public information officer.
These include renovating the Lafayette Avenue Bridge overlooking the Throgs Neck Expressway, the Pennyfield Avenue Bridge, the Castle Hill Avenue Bridge over Bruckner Boulevard, the Major Deegan Expressway from East 138th Street to the Macombs Dam Bridge, and the Major Deegan Expressway Bridge overlooking the Mosholu Parkway.