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DDC Paves the Way for the Annual Ninth Avenue International Food Festival

May 18, 2018

Dan Leibel

New York, NY –Preparation for the Ninth Avenue International Food Festival extended from the kitchen to the street this month as the NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) literally paved the way for the Festival when it temporarily halted work on a City infrastructure project in order to fill in trenches and remove construction equipment to help facilitate one of Hell’s Kitchen’s greatest traditions.

Construction equipment was moved to side streets along Ninth Avenue between 52nd and 57th streets, and open trenches were filled to provide a continuous space for the Festival and mitigate injury risk to the public, freeing at least two lanes worth of space for the vendors and pedestrians who will call this stretch of avenue home on May 19th and 20th.

“The food festival is a wonderful event that transforms Ninth Avenue every year, and DDC is happy to accommodate the community to make sure this strong tradition can be enjoyed by all New Yorkers,” said DDC Acting Commissioner Ana Barrio. “When completed, the project there will help ensure dependable water service for the community, and improve stormwater drainage.”

The $25 million project, which began in summer 2017, will replace over 4,000 linear feet of local water mains, some dating back to 1870. The project includes the installation of new catch basins to reduce flooding, upgrades to vital underground water pressure regulators and the replacement of local sewers. The project is expected to wrap up in spring 2021 and will include a full restoration of the Ninth Avenue streetscape, as well as new tree plantings.

To manage the needs of residents and businesses during construction, DDC has assigned a full-time Community Construction Liaison (CCL) to this project. CCL Wayan Brown keeps the neighborhood apprised of construction progress, and coordinates street closures, utility shutdowns and special requests. Mr. Brown is directly accessible to the public and can be reached at 646-750-9324 or by email at

DDC Deputy Director of Infrastructure Sanjay Modi, oversees the project. A 30-year veteran of New York City construction, Modi acknowledged the importance of community involvement and tradition.

“This food festival has been going since 1973. It’s a beautiful tradition and we have no interest in disrupting the festivities,” said Sanjay Modi. “The community was vocal about preserving the food festival so we were able to make these accommodations in support of their requests. Not only will we help facilitate the festival, but once we’re done here the infrastructure will be in great shape.”

The project is being managed by DDC for the New York City Department of Environmental Protection. AECOM helps to manage the project, and LiRo is the 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 long-term vision of growth, sustainability, resiliency, equity and healthy living, DDC provides communities with new or renovated public buildings such as firehouses, libraries, police precincts, and new or upgraded roads, sewers and water mains in all five boroughs. To manage this $13 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