(Morris Heights, NY – April 7, 2020) The NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) and NYC Department of Transportation (DOT) announced today that the $7 million restoration of West Tremont Avenue Step Street in Morris Heights, which connects Cedar Avenue to Sedgwick Avenue, has been completed. Construction on the century-old steps began in April 2018. The project was funded by DOT and managed by DDC.
“The West Tremont Avenue Step Street is an important link in Morris Heights that connects Cedar Avenue to Sedgwick Avenue and provides residents with easier access to the BX18, BX40 and BX42 buses,” said DDC Commissioner Lorraine Grillo. “We are delighted to work with DOT to restore this historic piece of infrastructure and make it safer and easier to navigate around the community.”
“The West Tremont Avenue Step Street is a vital link to the Morris Heights pedestrian network, connecting Cedar Avenue to Sedgwick Avenue, and providing access to Roberto Clemente State Park, local schools, and the Morris Heights Metro-North stop,” said DOT Bronx Borough Commissioner Nivardo Lopez. “We give thanks our good partners at DDC for their work in completing work on the Step Street and creating a safer, more efficient passageway for residents and visitors of this neighborhood.”
“In the West Bronx, step streets are essential thoroughfares for connecting residents to their destination,” said Council Member Vanessa L. Gibson. “The completion of the West Tremont Avenue step street eases accessibility to transportation between Cedar Avenue and Sedgwick Avenue, and the installation of new lighting and bike channels will help promote pedestrian safety. The restoration of the steps and investment in the neighborhood is a tremendous win for the residents of Morris Heights and I want to thank DDC and DOT for their hard work and commitment to this project.”
“Improving our borough's infrastructure has been a key focus of our office and it is wonderful that we have continued to improve such a vital and unique piece of infrastructure that is iconic to the Bronx,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “We are highly supportive of the restoration of the West Tremont Avenue Step Street, which will improve the lives of residents in Morris Heights. Step streets are a lifeline to many in our borough, particularly those who otherwise would be topographically isolated. Residents deserve access that is safe, convenient and beautiful. We have previously allocated $3 million for the Highbridge Step Street and $1 million for the Henwood Step Street, and look forward to supporting the restoration of all of our step streets throughout The Bronx. I want to thank the NYC Department of Transportation and NYC Department of Design and Construction for their support. Together, we will continue to build and improve our streets.”
“The reconstruction of the West Tremont Avenue Step Street in Morris Heights will improve the experience of pedestrians and cyclists alike,” said State Senator Gustavo Rivera. “It will now be easier to safely travel through the Morris Heights area while making it easier to access important bus lines in my district.”
The West Tremont Avenue Step Street was fully reconstructed to allow pedestrians and cyclists to safely navigate between Cedar Avenue to Sedgwick Avenue. To help prevent accidents and increase safety, five energy-efficient Flushing Meadow Park lights were installed and a light pole on the southeast corner of West Tremont Avenue and Cedar Avenue was replaced. A seven-foot steel picket fence was also installed along the steps.
To prevent soil erosion, five new retaining walls were installed and the old dirt terraces were replaced with new granite paving stones. A new CityBench was also added. As part of the final street restoration, which will be completed in spring 2020 when the weather is consistently 40 degrees or higher, 6,728 feet of roadway will be laid down with a two-inch overlay. Throughout the Conselyea Park area, 525 plants will be planted.
Cyclists can utilize the new bike channels with handrails that were installed on both sides of the steps. New street markings including a crosswalk, two stop bars and two “STOP” texts are now located on the pavement at West Tremont Avenue on Cedar Avenue and Fordham Place. A stop sign was replaced at West Tremont Avenue and Cedar Avenue.
Drains were placed on the step street’s landings, connected to the 110 feet of newly installed storm sewer, to ensure that the steps are free from water accumulation when it rains or snows. One catch basin was added and one was replaced, and an additional 160 feet of combined sewer was replaced. Access to the sewers were enhanced with the installation of four new manholes and the replacement of two older ones.
As part of the final restoration, a total of 4,240 square feet of sidewalks were reconstructed along West Tremont Avenue. At the northeast and southeast corners of West Tremont Avenue a total of 37 feet of curb and 300 square feet of sidewalks were reconstructed with new pedestrian ramps. Four new trees will also be planted in the spring. Last year DDC completed the reconstruction of the West 229th Step Street and Clifford Place Step Street, also in the Bronx.
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 $14 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.