April 20, 2017
New York, NY – New Yorkers who were already enjoying the five new pedestrian plazas that resulted from the Department of Design and Construction’s (DDC) reconstruction of Times Square have more to celebrate as the Times Square Alliance announced today new spring and summer public programs that have been made possible by the more than two acres of new public space the project added to the neighborhood.
The $55 million project, which was completed in December 2016 by DDC for the NYC Department of Transportation (DOT), also received a 2017 Design Merit Award from the New York chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA). The award was presented April 6th to the design team from Snøhetta at the Center for Architecture in Greenwich Village in Manhattan. The project was planned by the architecture and design firm under DDC’s Design and Construction Excellence Program, incorporating DDC’s Design and Construction Excellence 2.0 Guiding Principles, which promote sustainability, resiliency, equity, and healthy living in public works.
“New York City continues to reap the benefits of the reconstruction of the ‘Crossroads of the World,’” said DDC Commissioner Feniosky Peña-Mora. “By incorporating the values represented by DDC’s Guiding Principles, we have made the area safer, more vibrant, more appealing, and better prepared to host a wide variety of public events. We are seeing similar results on a smaller scale at DDC plaza projects throughout the City, which expand pedestrian space and improve traffic flow.”
“Times Square Plaza was completed on schedule above a large and active subway complex, with the coordination of numerous utilities and local groups, in one of the busiest urban areas on earth,” said DDC Deputy Commissioner Tom Foley, who as an Associate Commissioner in DDC’s Infrastructure division supervised the construction. “It’s very gratifying to work in such an iconic district, and the improvements reflect on the entire City.”
In February 2009, DOT announced that vehicular traffic would be replaced by pedestrian plazas along Broadway in Times Square between West 42nd and West 47th Streets. The project to more permanently convert those plazas to pedestrian use began in 2013, The completed reconstruction includes wider sidewalks; user amenities like benches; rebuilt curbs, streets and sidewalks; modern street and traffic lighting; and a new southbound bike lane on 7th Avenue.
Prior to the completion of the above-ground work the area received new sewers and water mains, and companies such as Con Edison and Verizon also completed about $25 million of underground utility upgrades. Hidden from view are electrical lines and other cables and outlets that allow for street performances and events without the need to run wires above ground. Several lengths of old unused streetcar tracks were also removed.
New programs developed by the Times Square Alliance for the pedestrian plazas include public art installations, speaking events and an annual yoga festival. Food and retail vendors such as New York’s renowned Strand Book Store will also have kiosks in the area.
A Times Square Alliance brochure on the programs can be downloaded here.
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.