New Willis Ave. bridge over Harlem River approved

Bridge spanning Harlem River to be built adjacent to outdated bridge. DOT sought a City Map amendment to delineate a new bridge easement and bridge corridor facilitating construction of the Willis Avenue Bridge replacement, connecting First Avenue and East 125th Street in Manhattan with Willis Avenue and East 132nd Street in the Bronx. The replacement bridge will be located directly adjacent to and south of the existing bridge and will also require landfill removal along the Bronx waterfront.

The existing swing-span bridge, over one hundred years old, fails to meet current structural and seismic requirements or geometric design standards and has sharp, curving, substandard entrance ramps that slow traffic flow. Major changes to the existing bridge’s alignment would be needed to meet current standards.

Construction of the new bridge will take five years and require dredging for new submarine cables. Full traffic capacity will be maintained during construction. The bridge’s movable spans will be inoperable for three months, blocking tall boats from passing along the channel. Most marine traffic would remain unaffected.

At the Planning Commission’s public hearing, no speakers opposed. The Commission unanimously approved on May 10, 2006, emphasizing that the new bridge will eliminate the sharp curves along the bridge’s entrance ramps and thus improve traffic flow and safety. The Commission explained that DOT responded to concerns raised by Bronx Community Board 1 and Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion, Jr. by committing to landscape Pulaski Park, promote local hiring through the Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program and restore disturbed wetland areas to the state’s satisfaction. DOT noted that Carrion’s request for streetscape improvements along Bruckner Boulevard and Willis Avenue to make it a “gateway to the Bronx” was beyond the scope of DOT’s project.

The Commission’s decision is final since the Council did not request review.

ULURP Process
Lead Agency:DOT, FEIS
Comm.Bd.: BX 1, App’d, App’d, 26-0-0
Boro. President: App’d

CPC: Willis Avenue Bridge (C 030028 MMX – City map amendment); (C 060253 MLX – landfill application) (May 10, 2006). CITYADMIN


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