As MTR reported on Tuesday, the New York State DOT has decided to rehabilitate a stretch of the Major Deegan Expressway in the Bronx instead of adding capacity. “The NYSDOT is committed to developing project plans in close consultation with local communities,” Acting Commissioner Stan Gee said in a press release. “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 expansion plan would have increased traffic in the area, cut off access to the waterfront and stifled a NYC redevelopment plan. Choosing the rehabilitation will save up to $100 million, money that can be spent on necessary projects like bridge repair, pedestrian safety, and the redevelopment of the Sheridan Expressway. Instead of widening ramps and adding auxiliary lanes, NYSDOT will work with New York City DOT to retime signals on local roads to ease congestion.
Local elected officials praised the decision. “I am pleased that NYSDOT made the effort to truly listen to our community’s concerns in the west Bronx regarding the Major Deegan project,” Assemblywoman Vanessa Gibson said. “This new plan will preserve our Bronx businesses and local jobs while easing traffic congestion and setting the stage for future commercial and residential development along the Harlem River waterfront.”
After presenting the expansion plan earlier this month, NYSDOT heard opposition from local residents, advocates, and elected officials. The Tri-State Campaign set up a webpage through which dozens of residents e-mailed Acting Commissioner Gee and the Deegan project engineer. Those residents received e-mails from the project team today, telling them about the changes to the plan.
Image: Deegan project documents from NYSDOT.