Phase Three of the $1.7B Hunts Point Project is Underway

El Sol-DeFoe JV Wins Third, Final Phase Of Bronx Hunts Point Improvement Project

By JOHN JORDAN – January 20, 2023

NEW YORK—State officials announced on Dec. 30 that a $446-million contract has been awarded to the El Sol-Defoe JV for the third and final phase of the $1.7-billion Hunts Point Access Improvement Project in the Bronx and that work is now getting underway.

El Sol Contracting and Construction is based in Maspeth, NY. DeFoe Corp. is headquartered in Mount Vernon, NY. The El Sol DeFoe JV is also the contractor on phase two of the New York State Department of Transportation project.

Skanska and its joint venture partner, ECCO III Enterprises, Inc., of Yonkers, reported on Dec. 27 it had completed phase one ($460-million) of the Hunts Point Interstate Access Improvement program at Hunts Point Peninsula in the South Bronx.

The third phase of the Hunts Point Improvement project in The Bronx includes the reconstruction of the Bruckner Expressway Interchange with Sheridan Boulevard. PHOTO CREDIT: NYS DOT

The Hunts Point Access Improvement project, when completed, will provide direct access to the Hunts Point Terminal Market from both the Bruckner Expressway and the new Sheridan Boulevard once fully completed. The market is one of the largest wholesale food distribution centers in the world. More than 78,000 vehicles travel to the Hunts Point Peninsula daily, including 13,000 trucks using local roads, which has contributed to poor air quality in the community.

Phase three of the project will remove a notorious bottleneck by reconstructing the Bruckner Expressway/Sheridan Boulevard interchange and relocating the entrance ramp to northbound Sheridan Boulevard from the left side of the highway to the right side. The addition of a third lane in each direction of the Bruckner Expressway and the replacement of the Bryant Ave Pedestrian Bridge, both of which were started in earlier phases of the project, will also be completed.

A new 117-spot parking lot with 24 Electrical Vehicle charging stations, including four rapid charge spots to better accommodate electric vehicles, will be constructed under the Bruckner Expressway and help enhance air quality in the South Bronx.

The new work builds on the success of the previous two phases of the project. Phase one, which wrapped up in October, provided new and improved access to Edgewater Road in the form of three new ramps: a two-way ramp to Edgewater Road from Sheridan Boulevard and a ramp from eastbound Bruckner Expressway to Edgewater Road. Edgewater Road was also resurfaced, and new traffic signals were installed at Seneca Avenue and Garrison Avenue.

Garrison Park was transformed with a new shared-use path, landscaping, viewing platforms overlooking the river and a formal entrance area with a signalized rail crossing and traffic signal, giving residents safer and more seamless access to the Bronx River. Additionally, a new shared-use path was constructed under the Bruckner Expressway to link the new Garrison Park with the existing Concrete Plant Park, with five security cameras installed along the new path to enhance safety for pedestrians and bicyclists while connecting to the Bronx River Greenway.

The Bronx River Avenue viaduct was also rehabilitated, and more than 15,000 square feet of community “Bronx River Open Space” was created under the viaduct. The project also replaced the eastern span of the Bryant Avenue pedestrian bridge over Amtrak/CSX rail lines.

In addition, phase one replaced four bridges that carry the Bruckner Expressway and Bruckner Boulevard over Amtrak/CSX rail lines.

“We are thrilled to celebrate the first phase of the improvement project that will significantly improve the day-to-day lives of the local community and thousands of commuters that travel to, from and through Hunts Point and the surrounding region each day,” said Michael Viggiano, executive vice president of Skanska’s East Coast civil operations. “It’s an honor to have had the opportunity to make these long-awaited improvements to an essential New York access point and provide a safer and more efficient interchange.”

Skanksa said phase one of the project was delivered on time and under budget. Project participants included joint venture partner, ECCO III Enterprises, Inc., of Yonkers; JMT of New York, Inc., served as the project designer. The project engineering team consisted of VHB Engineering, COWI, SJH Engineering, Malick & Scherer and Mueser Rutledge Consulting Engineers.

Phase two of the project, which is ongoing, will rehabilitate 1.25 miles of the Bruckner Expressway between 141st Street and Barretto Street, widening the roadway and providing new entrance and exit ramps that connect westbound Bruckner Expressway to Leggett Avenue. The ramps provide a direct route between the highway network and the Hunts Point Peninsula, including the Hunts Point Food Distribution Center, reducing truck traffic on local streets.

Additionally, a 1.75-mile section of Bruckner Boulevard between Cypress Ave and Barretto Street will be reconstructed, and 15 local intersections upgraded. Improvements include new or upgraded curbs, medians, sidewalks, crosswalks, and traffic signal improvements. A new, 1.5-mile shared-use path will provide a connection to the 138th Street bike path heading to Randall’s Island, Manhattan, and The Bronx River Greenway. Three New York City Park islands will also be improved, new trees will be planted, and a new decorative steel fence will be provided along Bruckner Boulevard. Phase two is scheduled for completion in the fall of 2023.

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