Skip to main content

Righting a Freeway Wrong: The Hunts Point Improvement Project

 

When I last spoke about construction projects in the City of New York, we discussed the new connector ramp between the RFK Bridge and the Harlem River Drive, a much-needed piece of the transportation puzzle that filled a glaring “missing link” in the whole network. A short distance away from there, in the Hunts Point section of the south Bronx, a much larger project of similar intent is now underway that promises to improve traffic circulation in a part of the City that has been lacking logical connectivity for decades.

The Hunts Point Cooperative Market is a massive whole sale food market complex built on 60 acres of prime real estate along the Bronx River. The campus operates 24/7 and is the largest food distribution center of its kind in the world, earning combined annual revenues of over $2 billion. Yet there’s always been one major problem with it all – the Market has always lacked direct & logical connections to the area’s expressway network, which has constantly resulted in heavy commercial traffic overburdening the local street grid in the neighborhood. The long-proposed and currently-underway “Hunts Point Interstate Access Improvement Project” is aimed at providing these missing connections to the nearby Bruckner Expressway (Interstate 278) and Sheridan Boulevard (NY Route 895), enabling the surface street grid of Hunts Point to function properly once again.


The above photos detail a trip along the westbound  side of the Bruckner Expressway (I-278) through the Hunts Point Project work area. Temporary unconventional traffic shifting and realignments will be necessary in the coming years as construction proceeds in the vicinity.

The scope of this project includes the reconstruction of the Bruckner Expressway/Boulevard mainline between Bronx River Avenue and Hunts Point Avenue, including the replacement of bridge decks and the widening of mainline roadways through the area. New flyover ramps are to be constructed that will directly connect the eastbound Bruckner/southbound Sheridan corridors with the truck entrances to the Hunts Point Market, and connect the Market with the northbound Sheridan, taking that substantial commercial traffic off of local streets and streamlining access to Market Terminals. The project’s timeline and staging are complicated by a variety of factors. Amtrak & CSX Railroads own & operate busy trackage, both along the Northeast Corridor (which runs directly through the project area), and on a separate active siding that connects the NEC mainline with the Terminal Markets. The vital Bruckner & Sheridan transportation arteries must be kept open through the project’s duration, meaning that special considerations related to work staging and traffic management are to be utilized.

New support structures, bridges, and retaining walls are part of the scope of improvements necessary along the Sheridan Boulevard arm of the project; many of these improvements are well underway.

This $460 million design-build contract is being executed by a joint venture contracting team led by Skanska and ECCO III Enterprises and substantial completion of the project is anticipated by the end of 2022. This is the first of three planned contracts aimed at renewing the entire Bruckner Expressway corridor between the RFK Bridge and Bronx River Parkway; the following two contracts will further address travel deficiencies in the area by adding additional ramps along the Bruckner corridor, and rehabbing the existing elevated viaduct through Hunts Point. All in all, about a decades-worth of work lies ahead for a long-neglected area of the City that will finally be getting a semblance of the modern transportation infrastructure it deserves.


Work is underway on the full rehab of the Bruckner Expressway overpass above Bronx River Avenue. The staged work involved installing a new deck, new bridge bearings, and performing significant structural repairs to key substructure components.

Comments

Unknown said…
The HuntsPoint construction work is a complete and utter disaster for the people of the neighborhood and the Hunts Point Market.
I have worked in The Point for over 30 years. I have never experienced such congestion and lawlessness on the streets. The people responsible for this project including the political people should move there offices down here and experience the disaster they have created.
Unknown said…
It’s unbelievable that a 15 min drive in the morning turns to 45 min to a 1hr drive. Going home …well I leave work at 5:30 and I get home between 6:30or 7:00. This is an absolute disgrace and these politicians should be sitting in these dangerous congested traffic. Frustrating people trying to get home. Please do something… at least come and see what’s going on. For startes have the lights alternate as you go down hunts point to the bruckner. This is crazy with all the technology, politicians we can’t figure something out? Please do something you owe it to the community, you owe it to the workers you owe it to the Hunts Point Market. Very frustrated driver!

Popular posts from this blog

Deer Isle Bridge in Maine

As graceful a bridge that I ever set my eyes upon, the Deer Isle Bridge (officially known as the Deer Isle-Sedgwick Bridge) surprisingly caught my eye as I was driving around coastal Maine one Saturday afternoon. About 35 miles south of Bangor, Maine , the Deer Isle Bridge connects the Blue Hill Peninsula of Downeast Maine with Little Deer Isle over the Eggemoggin Reach on ME 15 between the towns of Sedgwick and Deer Isle . It should be noted that Little Deer Isle is connected to Deer Isle by way of a boulder lined causeway, and there is a storied regatta that takes place on the Eggemoggin Reach each summer. But the Deer Isle Bridge holds many stories, not just for the vacationers who spend part of their summer on Deer Isle or in nearby Stonington , but for the residents throughout the years and the folks who have had a hand bringing this vital link to life.   The Deer Isle Bridge was designed by David Steinman and built by the Phoenix Bridge Company of Phoenixville,

Former US Route 99 through Athlone and the last Wheeler Ridge-Sacramento corridor expressway

Athlone was a siding of the Southern Pacific Railroad located in Merced County on the alignment of what was US Route 99 between the cities of Chowchilla and Merced.  The Athlone corridor of US Route 99 was one of the first in San Joaquin Valley to fully upgraded to four lane expressway standards.  The Athlone expressway corridor was inherited by California State Route 99 when US Route 99 was truncated to Ashland, Oregon during June 1965.  The four-lane expressway through Athlone was the last segment of what had been US Route 99 in the Wheeler Ridge-Sacramento corridor to be bypassed by a freeway.  The Athlone expressway corridor was bypassed by the modern California State Route 99 freeway in 2016.  Despite being put on a road diet and narrowed what was the Athlone expressway corridor still displays evidence of being part of US Route 99.   Above the blog cover photo displays the Athlone expressway corridor of US Route 99 south of Merced as depicted in the July 1939 California Highways &

California State Route 38

California State Route 38 is a fifty-nine-mile State Highway located entirety in San Bernardino County and a component of the Rim of the World Highway.  California State Route 38 begins at California State Route 18 at Bear Valley Dam of the San Bernardino Mountains and follows an easterly course on the north shore of Big Bear Lake.  California State Route 38 briefly multiplexes California State Route 18 near Baldwin Lake and branches east towards the 8,443-foot-high Onyx Summit.  From Onyx Summit the routing of California State Route 38 reverses course following a largely westward path through the San Bernardino Mountains towards a terminus at Interstate 10 in Redlands.   Pictured as the blog cover is California State Route 38 at Onyx Summit the day it opened to traffic on August 12th, 1961.   Part 1; the history of California State Route 38 California State Route 38 (CA 38) is generally considered to be the back way through the San Bernardino Mountains to Big Bear Lake of Bear Valley