New York State has officially launched the second phase of major enhancements to the interchange of Bruckner Expressway and Bruckner Boulevard in Hunts Point, the South Bronx. Known as the Hunts Point Access Improvement Project, Phase Two includes rehabilitation to existing roadway infrastructure, the enhancement of public safety on local streets by strategically reducing truck traffic, and the construction of a new shared walkway and bike path on Bruckner Boulevard between 138th Street and Barretto Street.
When complete, the project will also provide direct access to Hunts Point Market, one of the largest wholesale food distribution centers in the world. It is estimated that more than 78,000 vehicles travel to the Hunts Point Peninsula daily. This figure includes 13,000 commercial trucks that currently rely on local roads. According to the city, the trucks are a major contributor to poor air quality in the area.
Total project costs are estimated at $1.7 billion. The project will be completed in three phases with executive oversight by New York State’s Department of Transportation. Phase Two accounts for $518 million dollars of projected costs and is scheduled for completion in fall 2023.
“New York State is continuing to transform the South Bronx through innovative projects like this one at Hunts Point, which will create a more sustainable transportation network, provide access to open, green space, and improve quality of life for neighborhood residents,” said New York State Department of Transportation commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez. “The Department of Transportation is proud to be a part of this historic and transformational undertaking.”
Phase One of the rehabilitation project began in December 2019 and includes the construction of a two-way ramp from Edgewater Road to the Sheridan and a ramp from eastbound Bruckner Expressway to Edgewater Road. This phase also calls for the replacement of four bridges over Bronx River Avenue and Amtrak/CSX rail lines, as well as improvements to the intersection of Bruckner Boulevard and Hunts Point Avenue. For pedestrians, Garrison Park will be transformed to allow access to the Bronx River and a new bike and walking path will be constructed linking the park to Concrete Plant Park.
The first phase, which carries an estimated $598 million price tag, is expected to be completed by fall 2022. The entire project is expected to create roughly 22,000 new jobs.
“The Hunts Point Access Improvement Project has transformed an outdated interstate highway into a boulevard giving residents and visitors safe recreational spaces, and improved access to The Hunts Point Market,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “This project realizes a vision Bronx residents have dreamt of for decades, and I am thrilled to see the second phase begin, which will help to ensure The Bronx continues to grow and thrive for generations to come.”