FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Release #14-49
May 4, 2014
Scott Gastel/Nicholas Mosquera, (212) 839-4850
NYC DOT Commissioner Trottenberg, Comptroller Stringer, State Senate Co-leader Klein, Borough President Diaz, Council Member Vacca, and Community Leaders Announce Major Agreement on New Design for the City Island Bridge
Following a meeting Friday with elected officials and community advocates, NYC DOT to pursue a new, causeway-style bridge to the island, as the project’s approval process continues
New York City Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Polly Trottenberg joined City Comptroller Scott Stringer, New York State Senate Co-Leader Jeffrey D. Klein, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., Council Member James Vacca, Barbara Dolensek of the City Island Civic Association, Gerard S. Giacco of the City Island Chamber of Commerce and other stakeholders today to announce broad community support for the design of a new City Island Bridge in the Bronx. With the announcement, DOT will pursue construction of the new design, as the bridge replacement project continues through the federal, state and local approval process. The agreement follows a major stakeholder meeting on Friday where DOT presented conceptual renderings of a new, causeway-style bridge design that received widespread support from elected officials and community leaders.
“When Mayor de Blasio offered me the job of Transportation Commissioner, he asked me to listen to and respect communities and be a problem-solver. And with a new, simpler causeway design for the 113-year-old City Island Bridge, that is exactly what we’ve accomplished today,” said NYC DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “The de Blasio Administration is proud to have partnered with Bronx local elected officials, community leaders, New York State DOT and the Federal Highway Administration, to produce a bridge design that will complement this beautiful, historic community.”
“The City Island bridge is more than a means of transportation, it is literally a lifeline for the residents of this Bronx neighborhood and its visitors,” said City Comptroller Scott Stringer. “Thanks to the efforts by the community and local elected officials, I am pleased today that we can announce the City is altering its plans and contracts for a better bridge that fits the needs of the residents of City Island.”
“After years of fighting for a replacement bridge that fits the unique and historical character of City Island, I am thrilled that our community can finally give our stamp of approval to the proposed bridge design,” said Senate Co-Leader Jeffrey D. Klein (D-Bronx/Westchester). “From the beginning, Mayor de Blasio and DOT Commissioner Trottenberg listened to our concerns and swiftly delivered a 21st Century bridge in keeping with the majestic charm of City Island. As we stand here today – City Island community leaders, local residents, elected officials and Commissioner Trottenberg – I am proud to start this new chapter together.”
“Today’s announcement is a major victory for the people of City Island and for the entire Bronx. Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner Trottenberg have heard the people of City Island, who were overwhelmingly opposed to the original bridge plan, and have delivered a new proposal that meets the transit and aesthetic needs of this community,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “I thank them, as well as our elected officials, community boards and civic leaders, for their continued efforts to develop a compromise plan for the future of this important crossing.”
“This change in design proves that when City Hall listens to and engages local communities, great things can happen,” said Council Member James Vacca. “The previous bridge design would have overwhelmed a community with such a unique nautical character and history. However, the modified design will bring a needed infrastructure improvement by constructing a new bridge which also recognizes the special place City Island is to its residents and all Bronxites. I want to thank Mayor de Blasio and Commissioner Trottenberg for considering the concerns of City Islanders and working closely with them and my office on this new design.”
“I applaud Commissioner Polly Trottenberg and the City’s Department of Transportation for working closely with City Island residents and local elected officials on a new design for a bridge the community can welcome,” said Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx). “City Islanders are proud of their neighborhood’s unique identity and I am pleased the new proposal for a replacement bridge takes into account their concerns and ensures the preservation of the island’s rich and historic character.”
“Unity and cooperation were the keywords for this victory,” said Assemblyman Michael Benedetto. “Unity, among all the Elected Officials, the community and all those fighting the original plan. Cooperation, by the new de Blasio administration, who took the time to listen and understand the needs of City Island. I thank all involved.”
“For the first time since we learned our historic bridge had to be replaced, the City Island community is delighted to have entered into a real dialogue with the city’s Department of Transportation, thanks to Mayor de Blasio and the considerable efforts of the new DOT commissioner, Polly Trottenberg,” said Barbara Dolensek, 2nd Vice-President of the City Island Civic Association. “In a very short time, they have come up with a bridge design that is compatible with City Island’s low-rise historic character and with the beauty of Pelham Bay Park, and for that we are immensely grateful.”
“I am so proud and grateful to have been a part of this effort,” said City Island Chamber of Commerce President Gerard S. Giacco. “The new bridge design presented by the Department of Transportation reflects the character of City Island while allowing the simple beauty of Pelham Bay Park and Eastchester Bay to be enjoyed uninterrupted. I want to thank our elected officials for joining Councilman Jimmy Vacca and Senator Jeff Klein in bringing our concerns to Mayor de Blasio and DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg, who took the time to listen. Special thanks to the residents and businesses of City Island for coming together in a way that illustrates the power of a unified neighborhood.”
The new proposal was designed by the project’s contractor, Tutor Perini, as part of the DOT’s project review process and it is expected to save the City as much as $5 million for this important infrastructure improvement. The design features a clean, simple aesthetic with lighting and other elements inspired by the existing bridge. It will also have a minimal impact on the waterway below while affording unobstructed views of Pelham Bay Park and Eastchester Bay, benefits long-sought by the City Island community.
Scheduled for completion by 2017 following the ongoing review process, the project will replace the existing, 113-year-old City Island Bridge, which connects the thousands of residents and visitors to the island with the rest of the Bronx. The agreement on the design marks a major step in the commitment by Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration to infrastructure projects that better connect New York City communities.
For more information on the City Island Bridge project and all of the agency’s efforts to maintain its 789 bridges across the five boroughs, visit www.nyc.gov/dot.
Conceptual renderings of a new, causeway-style bridge design