Governor Hochul Announces Third and Final Phase of $1.7 Billion Hunts Point Access Improvement Project Now Underway

Government and Politics

December 30, 2022

From: New York Governor Kathy Hochul

State Department of Transportation Awarded $446 Million Contract for Latest Phase of Transformative Project in South Bronx

Work Includes Reconstruction of Bruckner Expressway/Sheridan Boulevard Interchange and Completion of the New Bryant Avenue Pedestrian Bridge

Project is Part of Unprecedented State Investment to Enhance Infrastructure and Quality of Life for Residents in the South Bronx

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the latest milestone in the State's $1.7 billion Hunts Point Access Improvement Project. A $446 million contract has been awarded for the third and final phase of the project and work is now getting underway. This new phase of the project includes the reconstruction of the Bruckner Expressway interchange with Sheridan Boulevard and other improvements that will reduce congestion, enhance bicycle and pedestrian safety and provide easier access to the Hunts Point Terminal Market. The Phase Three contract, which keeps the overall project on schedule to be completed in the fall of 2025, is part of an unprecedented State investment to enhance infrastructure and connectivity in the South Bronx while also improving the quality of life for residents.

"There is no better example of the important role modern infrastructure can play in ensuring the economic health and well-being of a community than Hunts Point," Governor Hochul said. "The changes we are making to this vital hub for commerce will not only make it easier to transport goods to and from the market, but also improve quality of life for the surrounding neighborhoods by taking thousands of trucks off local streets and providing new recreational opportunities that will further fuel the revitalization of the South Bronx."

Overseen by the New York State Department of Transportation, the $1.7 billion Hunts Point project will provide direct access to the Hunts Point Terminal Market from both the Bruckner Expressway and the new Sheridan Boulevard once fully completed. The market is one of the largest wholesale food distribution centers in the world. More than 78,000 vehicles travel to the Hunts Point Peninsula daily, including 13,000 trucks using local roads, which has contributed to poor air quality in the community.

Phase Three of the project will remove a notorious bottleneck by reconstructing the Bruckner Expressway/Sheridan Boulevard interchange and relocating the entrance ramp to northbound Sheridan Boulevard from the left side of the highway to the right side. The addition of a third lane in each direction of the Bruckner Expressway and the replacement of the Bryant Ave Pedestrian Bridge, both of which were started in earlier phases of the project, will also be completed. Additionally, the intersection of Hunts Point Avenue and Bruckner Boulevard will be reconstructed to improve pedestrian and bicyclist safety. New signing and pavement markings will also be installed to better direct auto, truck and pedestrian traffic within the Hunts Point Peninsula.

Additionally, a new 117-spot parking lot with 24 EV "Electrical Vehicle" charging stations, including four rapid charge spots to better accommodate electric vehicles, will be constructed under the Bruckner Expressway and help enhance air quality in the South Bronx.

The new work builds on the success of the previous two phases of the project. Phase One, which wrapped up in October, provided new and improved access to Edgewater Road in the form of three new ramps: a two-way ramp to Edgewater Road from Sheridan Boulevard and a ramp from eastbound Bruckner Expressway to Edgewater Road. Edgewater Road was also resurfaced, and new traffic signals were installed at Seneca Avenue and Garrison Avenue.

Garrison Park was transformed with a new shared-use path, landscaping, viewing platforms overlooking the river and a formal entrance area with a signalized rail crossing and traffic signal, giving residents safer and more seamless access to the Bronx River. Additionally, a new shared-use path was constructed under the Bruckner Expressway to link the new Garrison Park with the existing Concrete Plant Park, with five security cameras installed along the new path to enhance safety for pedestrians and bicyclists while connecting to the Bronx River Greenway.

The Bronx River Avenue viaduct was also rehabilitated, and more than 15,000 square feet of community "Bronx River Open Space" was created under the viaduct. The project also replaced the eastern span of the Bryant Avenue pedestrian bridge over Amtrak/CSX rail lines.

In addition, Phase One replaced four bridges that carry the Bruckner Expressway and Bruckner Boulevard over Amtrak/CSX rail lines.

Phase Two of the project, which is ongoing, will rehabilitate 1.25 miles of the Bruckner Expressway between 141st Street and Barretto Street, widening the roadway and providing new entrance and exit ramps that connect westbound Bruckner Expressway to Leggett Avenue. The ramps provide a direct route between the highway network and the Hunts Point Peninsula, including the Hunts Point Food Distribution Center, reducing truck traffic on local streets.

Additionally, a 1.75-mile section of Bruckner Boulevard between Cypress Ave and Barretto Street will be reconstructed, and 15 local intersections upgraded. Improvements include new or upgraded curbs, medians, sidewalks, crosswalks, and traffic signal improvements. A new, 1.5-mile shared-use path will provide a connection to the 138th Street bike path heading to Randall's Island, Manhattan, and Bronx River Greenway. Three New York City Park islands will also be improved, new trees will be planted,and a new decorative steel fence will be provided along Bruckner Boulevard. Phase Two is scheduled for completion in fall 2023.

New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez said, "The Hunts Point Access Improvement Project is a game changer for the South Bronx and is part of the historic commitment Governor Hochul has made to revitalizing our infrastructure in ways that reconnect our communities and strengthen our neighborhoods. When this project is completed, the people of the South Bronx will see fewer trucks on local roads and less congestion, which will help improve air quality, and they will also have wonderful new recreational opportunities. The Department of Transportation is proud to be undertaking this transformative project and committed to bringing it across the finish line."

State Senator Luis R. Sepulveda said, "The final phase of funding for the Hunts Point Market improvement is being welcomed by all sectors in the Bronx. This $1.7 billion project has the support of Governor Kathy Hochul, her administration and all of us who wish to continue to invest in the quality of life of our people. This project will bring better access, jobs and multiple benefits not only to the Bronx but to the entire state of New York. I am anxious to continue supporting and contributing to see this great project become a reality."

Assemblymember Kenny Burgos said, "This is a great milestone for our borough. The final phase of the Hunts Point Access Improvement Project will help transform the South Bronx community and improve the quality of life for its residents. I once again thank Governor Hochul and everyone involved for this historic investment, and I can't wait to see this project's completion."

New York City Councilmember Rafael Salamanca said, "Building on the recent completion of Phase I, and the ongoing work at Bruckner Expressway as part of Phase II, the commencement of the third and final phase of the historic $1.7 billion Hunts Point Access Improvement Project will bring the South Bronx one step closer to safer, more environmentally roads,' stated Council Member Rafael Salamanca, 17th Council District, The Bronx. 'Once completed, this transformative project will fulfill the community's vision of ridding industrial truck traffic off our local streets and convert disruptive highways into safe spaces for pedestrians and bicyclists alike. I thank Governor Hochul and her administration for their commitment to enhancing the quality of life of Bronxites."

Bronx Borough President Vanessa L. Gibson said, "The Hunts Point Access Improvement Project is a significant game changer in the South Bronx by removing thousands of trucks off local streets that contribute to air pollution, the creation of new traffic signals for enhanced safety, new green spaces for our residents and families to enjoy, and by making pedestrian and cyclist safety a priority. We are thankful to Governor Hochul and her administration for this $1.7 billion investment and look forward to seeing the completion of this project."

The Hunts Point Terminal Market and other produce companies near the facility generate more than $2 billion in annual economic activity. The Hunts Point Food Distribution Center supplies up to 60 percent of the produce, meat and fish used by New York City residents and visitors and employs more than 6,000 workers. It attracts tens of thousands of vehicles per day, and prior to the completion of Phase One of the project, used local streets — particularly Westchester Avenue and Bruckner Boulevard — to go to and from the interstate highway.

The highway redesign will enhance safety, take traffic off local roadways and significantly reduce both noise and truck idling, thereby mitigating air pollution in a borough with some of the highest asthma rates in the country. The transformational project is expected to create 22,000 direct and indirect jobs.