Following his plan to transform Central Brooklyn (which has received a mixed response so far), Governor Andrew Cuomo is now setting his sights on the Bronx. Over the weekend, the Governor announced a plan to redesign the Sheridan Expressway in the South Bronx, and thereby create easier access to the waterfront, and ease up traffic congestion, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The revamped expressway, which will be known as Sheridan Boulevard, will create walkways for pedestrians to access Starlight Park and the Bronx River, and create flyover ramps that will connect Sheridan Boulevard and Buckner Expressway to Edgewater Road, making it easier for trucks to make their way to the Hunts Point Produce Market, according to the WSJ.
For years residents living around the expressway have complained that its shoddy design leads trucks to use local roads thereby causing congestion and contributing to a large amount of pollution in the residential areas, according to the New York Times, which interviewed families living around the expressway. More than 13,000 trucks use local roads in the Hunts Point area leading to some of the highest rates of asthma in the country, according to Governor Cuomo’s office.
Local residents have campaigned for years to bring changes to the Sheridan Expressway, and now Governor Cuomo has set aside $700 million in this year’s budget to fund the first phase of the project. Overall the project will cost $1.8 billion, and construction is expected to begin next year. The first phase of the Sheridan Boulevard, which will create wider medians, landscaping and decorative lighting, among other improvements, is expected to be complete by the spring of 2019.
"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 in a statement. "The project will create an interconnected South Bronx with access to the Waterfront, recreation, and less traffic on local streets while simultaneously better supporting those who use the Hunts Point Market – a vital economic engine for the borough."