The state next year plans to kick off a $1.8 billion redesign of the Robert Moses-built Sheridan Expressway in the South Bronx that will provide waterfront access to neighborhoods long cut off from the shoreline and parks, likely boosting property values and making the prospect of development more attractive.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Sunday announced the project, which will integrate pedestrian walkways so that residents in the South Bronx can access Starlight Park and the Bronx River, the Wall Street Journal reported. The park has long been separated from neighborhoods by the mile-long expressway, also known as Interstate 895.
Construction is slated to kick off next year and wrap up by the spring of 2019. Cuomo said the project will create more than 4,200 jobs, and the first phase will be funded with $700 million in this year’s state budget.
“While plans have been proposed and languished for decades, we’re taking action to finally right the wrongs of the past by reconnecting South Bronx communities that have dealt with unnecessary barriers to revitalization and growth,” Cuomo said.
The project will also include constructing flyover ramps that will connect Sheridan Boulevard and the Bruckner Expressway to Edgewater Road, providing direct access to the Hunts Point Produce Market. Cuomo said the ramps will cut back on truck traffic to local roads.
More than 78,000 vehicles travel to Hunts Point each day, including 13,000 trucks that give rise to complaints about poor air quality in the neighborhood, Cuomo said.
The Hunt’s Point co-op last year was negotiating with the city to upgrade the site’s outdated facilities.