DDC, DOT Mark Completion of New Myrtle-Cooper Plaza in Queens
(Glendale, NY - July 19, 2017) NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) Acting Commissioner Ana Barrio and NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) Queens Borough Commissioner Nicole Garcia joined Councilmember Elizabeth Crowley, local elected officials, and community stakeholders today to celebrate the completion of the new Myrtle-Cooper Plaza, a $3.4 million project that adds 5,300-square-feet of new pedestrian space to the area while realigning local streets, calming traffic, and increasing safety under Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero initiative.
“Great cities are known for their public plazas, which become integral to the life of a community,” said DDC Acting Commissioner Ana Barrio. “This ribbon cutting marks the start of a unique assembly space for the community as a secure, high-quality, mixed-use open space. We’re very pleased to be able along with our DOT partners to present it to neighborhood residents.”
“The opening of the Myrtle-Cooper Plaza gives Queens more than 5,000-square-feet of new pedestrian space, along with Vision Zero improvements to make a complex intersection safer for everyone who uses it,” said DOT Queens Borough Commissioner Nicole Garcia. “We are thankful to the elected leaders and local community for their ongoing support through this major construction effort to build this new public space for people who live and do business in Glendale.”
“I’m thrilled to finally cut the ribbon on this plaza. It was a long road for many local businesses and residents during construction, but now complete, this space will breathe new life onto Myrtle Avenue, a commercial corridor that our local economy depends on. Thank you to DDC and DOT for their partnership in making this project the best it can be,” said Council Member Elizabeth Crowley.
“Under Mayor de Blasio’s Vision Zero initiative, important pedestrian and roadway enhancements like the new Myrtle-Cooper Plaza, have made a positive impact on safety for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists alike,” said Queens Borough President Melinda Katz. “Placing a pedestrian plaza at this intersection was an innovative way on the part of DOT and DDC in partnership the Councilmember Liz Crowley to enhance safety, quadruple the amount of pedestrian public space in the area and upgrade the longstanding memorial to continue to pay tribute to the WWI veterans who called Glendale ‘home.’”
"The addition of this new plaza, at the intersection of Myrtle and Cooper Avenues in Glendale, will improve pedestrian safety and roadway maintenance for members of the community," said State Senator Joseph Addabbo. "Most importantly to me, the City work there included the protection and improvement of the important veterans memorial at the intersection, giving our military men and women the respect that they deserve. I would like to thank DOT and DDC for the public plaza's end result."
“The new design for the Myrtle-Cooper Plaza is a welcomed upgrade for the neighborhood of Glendale. For years the open space was confusing for motorists and pedestrians alike. Now that work has been completed, it is my hope that the intersection will be safer. The new mixed use space should encourage local residents to enjoy the scenery and remember those who served during the First World War,” said State Assembly Member Michael Miller.
To create the new Plaza, two short streets at either end of the bow-tie shaped Myrtle-Cooper intersection were converted to pedestrian areas. The former block on 70th Street between Myrtle and Cooper Avenues was closed to traffic and has been converted into a new 4,200-square-foot pedestrian space that encompasses Glendale Veterans Triangle and the Glendale War Memorial that was dedicated in 1921 to honor 21 Glendale residents who died in combat during World War I.
The memorial, which had previously been on a small traffic island near the main intersection, now has new granite and a new flag pole. The area around the memorial will include tables and chairs, benches, new trees, cobble paving stones and other decorative paving, a drinking fountain, and new stone curbs with planters.
At the other end of the intersection, 71st Street between Myrtle and Cooper Avenues was closed to traffic and converted into a smaller pedestrian area. The project also includes amenities such as planters, a bus shelter, a drinking fountain, outdoor seating, and decorative paving. Upgraded infrastructure has been installed, including realigned sidewalks, new water mains, new catch basins to improve street drainage, and new fire hydrants and street lights.
The creation of Myrtle-Cooper Plaza mirrors other efforts by the de Blasio administration to calm traffic and reclaim pedestrian space throughout the City. The DOT Plaza Program now has 73 plazas citywide, including 13 in Queens, and is a key part of the City's effort to ensure that all New Yorkers live within walking distance of quality open space.
Under Mayor de Blasio, the City recently launched work on Corona Plaza in Queens, is revamping the pedestrian plaza at West 185th Street in Manhattan, and opened La Plaza de Las Americas in Manhattan and a renovated Fordham Plaza in the Bronx. Work in Times Square Plaza added almost two acres of new pedestrian space in Midtown, and a project at Astor Place added almost an acre downtown.
The design of the new Myrtle-Cooper Plaza was completed by DDC consultant NV5. Triumph Construction Corporation of the Bronx was the construction contractor.
About the NYC Department of Design and Construction
The Department of Design and Construction is the City’s primary capital construction project manager. In supporting Mayor de Blasio’s lenses of growth, sustainability, resiliency, equity and healthy living, DDC provides communities with new or renovated public buildings such as such as firehouses, libraries, police precincts, new or upgraded roadways, sewers, water mains in all five boroughs. To manage this $15 billion portfolio, DDC partners with other City agencies, architects and consultants, whose experience bring efficient, innovative, and environmentally-conscious design and construction strategies to city projects. For more information, please visit nyc.gov/ddc.