New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) Acting Commissioner Stanley Gee was joined by State Senator Jose Serrano, Assemblywoman Carmen Arroyo, Assemblywoman Vanessa Gibson, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. and City Councilwoman Maria del Carmen Arroyo in announcing Nov. 25 that the plan for the proposed Major Deegan Expressway rehabilitation project in Bronx County will be revised based on feedback received by the NYSDOT from the community and elected and city officials.
“The Major Deegan Expressway is an example of the aging and heavily used transportation infrastructure that is in need of maintenance and repair across New York State,” Gee said. “The NYSDOT is committed to developing project plans in close consultation with local communities. We take the feedback we receive seriously, and work to assure that projects like the Major Deegan rehabilitation are in keeping with local goals.”
The revised plan for the Major Deegan eliminates a proposal to ease traffic congestion by expanding the highway’s southbound ramp at 138th Street, as well as the northbound Major Deegan between 138th and 149th streets. The new plan removes the need for any businesses to relocate, though it is expected that some property easements will be required. Therefore, the project will not inhibit potential development along the Harlem River waterfront.
The overall plan calls for rehabilitating the elevated portion of the Major Deegan between 138th Street and Macombs Dam Bridge due to deterioration of the deck and the steel structure supporting it. NYSDOT also will work with the NYCDOT to ease traffic congestion through changes to signal timing at Exterior Street and other locations.
The plan’s revisions reduce the scope of the mile-long project and its cost by up to an estimated $100 million. The new project will cost an estimated $170 million to $200 million, down from the approximately $275 million that had been projected previously. Preliminary design of the project is expected to be completed next spring. Construction is expected to begin in autumn 2012.
“NYSDOT conducted extensive outreach about the Major Deegan project and heard the concerns of the community,” New York City Regional Director Eng said. “As a result, we have decided to reduce the scope of the project to solely focus on rehabilitating the highway viaduct. This will allow NYSDOT to address the structural and safety needs of the facility while providing the Lower Concourse the time and flexibility to achieve the community’s vision for the South Bronx.”
Serrano said: “I am pleased that the community came out to share their concerns on this issue. I commend New York State Department of Transportation for working with the community to address these concerns.”