NYCEDC, NYC Parks and NYC DOT Announce
Randall’s Island Connector Project Reaches Key Milestones
Property Acquisition Completed and Invitation for Bid Released
New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) today announced key milestones reached in the Randall’s Island Connector Project, which will connect the South Bronx and Randall’s Island, providing a critical transportation link for pedestrians and bicyclists. In order to achieve this milestone, NYCEDC facilitated on behalf of the City, the acquisition of easements from the adjacent private property owners, Harlem River Yard Ventures, Dow Jones & Company and the New York Post, with consent from the underlying property owner, the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT). NYCEDC also today announced that contractors are now able to submit bids in order to construct the Randall’s Island Connector. The quarter mile project, which begins at 132nd Street and runs southward under the existing Amtrak trestle, over the Bronx Kill to Randall’s Island, is expected to be completed in early 2015. The route will allow South Bronx residents and visitors to easily access 330 acres of recreational resources at Randall’s Island Park, including sports fields and facilities, restored wetlands, gardens, picnic areas and waterfront bicycle and pedestrian pathways (www.randallsisland.org). The Randall’s Island Connector is a partnership between NYCEDC, the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, who will maintain the Connector with the Randall’s Island Park Alliance, and New York City Department of Transportation (NYC DOT).
“These milestones mark a tremendous step forward in the South Bronx Greenway plan, which will provide residents and visitors to the area with waterfront access and new conveniences,” said NYCEDC President Kyle Kimball. “The Randall’s Island Connector will complete phase I of the plan, and will make the active recreation, health programs and other amenities of Randall’s Island accessible to even more people of the Bronx.”
The property acquisition will allow the City to complete the final of five important projects that make up Phase I of the South Bronx Greenway master plan. Previous projects of the master plan include Hunts Point Landing, the Lafayette Avenue Streetscape, the Hunts Point Avenue Streetscape and the Food Center Drive. When fully completed, the Greenway will encompass 1.5 miles of waterfront land, 8.5 miles of inland green streets and nearly 12 acres of new waterfront open space throughout Hunts Point and Port Morris.
The invitation to bid for the Randall’s Island Connector allows contractors to submit bids to complete the proposed scope of work, which includes the construction of the quarter-mile pedestrian and bicycle pathway, clearing and grubbing the area, excavation, demolition, grading, bioretention basins, asphalt pavement, striping and bicycle symbols, fencing, electrical and site lighting, and landscaping. Construction is expecting to begin in early 2014 and be completed in early 2015. Responses to the invitation to bid are due by October 8th. For more information, please visithttp://www.nycedc.com/opportunity/randall-s-island-connector-construction-services-ifb.
“The Randall’s Island Connector will provide residents of the Bronx with direct access to the more than 330 acres of recreational amenities on Randall’s Island,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Veronica M. White. “This quarter-mile path along the South Bronx Greenway will ensure greater access for pedestrians and bicyclists to Randall’s Island’s beautiful waterfront paths, ballfields, wetlands and more. Special thanks to NYCEDC, NYS Department of State, NYS DOT, NYC DOT, Congress Member Serrano, and community leaders for partnering on this important transportation link.”
“I applaud the hard work of the EDC, NYC Parks and DOT and all those involved in moving this great project forward,” said Congressman José E. Serrano, who provided seed funding for the project. “Today’s news means that in short order, the long-held dream of a new pedestrian and bicycle connection to Randall’s Island will be a reality. I look forward to crossing the Bronx Kill to Randall’s Island with my fellow Bronx residents and enjoying the fabulous recreation facilities available there.”
"It is great to see this long awaited project moving forward,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “Separated from the Bronx by just the few feet of water known as the Bronx Kill, Randall’s Island has for decades remained extremely distant because of the access challenges encountered by Bronx residents. With the connector project, Bronx residents will now be able to walk over the Bronx Kill and enter this New York City parkland treasure. I have, for the last several years, been working with the Parks Department to develop pathways that will meet at the Randall's Island Connector in anticipation of this project's completion. I look forward to having my constituents take full advantage of the facilities and children and adult programming available on Randall’s Island, which will be just a short walk away."
“After years of advocating for more community access to the waterfront and Randall’s Island, I am very excited about the progress that has been made on the Randall’s Island Connector project,” said Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito. “The South Bronx Greenway will greatly improve access to the waterfront and the state-of-the-art fields and facilities at Randall’s Island, all of which will serve as a major recreational asset to this community which has some of the highest obesity, diabetes and asthma rates in the City. This is why I allocated $110,000 to this effort. The project includes a vast expansion of green infrastructure including a new network of bike and pedestrian paths which will serve to improve public health and the surrounding environment. I want to thank EDC, NYC Parks and NYC DOT and all the community organizations that have made this milestone possible.”
“On behalf of THE POINT and all of our partners, we would like to thank our community of Hunts Point for creating this vision and having the courage to dream,” said Kellie Terry Sepulveda, Executive Director of THE POINT Community Development Corporation. “We are so excited to welcome this new addition to the South Bronx Greenway that will not only connect community and families to much needed green space but will also serve as a vehicle to bring us closer together. We would also like to thank our Mayor, the city agencies – EDC, NYC Parks, NYC DOT, Congressmen Serrano and all local elected officials, as well as the local businesses for supporting this community vision and creating a better Bronx and City for all of us. We look forward to continuing to work with everyone to keep this new green space a vital and sustainable resource for future generations to come.”
“We applaud the NYCEDC in their continued progress on the South Bronx Greenway,” said Michael Brotchner, Executive Director of Sustainable South Bronx. “The construction of the Randall’s Island Connector will help create safer pedestrian and bicycle pathways, expand access to the South Bronx waterfront, and increase recreational opportunities for residents of the South Bronx. Thanks to the Connector, South Bronx residents now have a safe and environmentally-friendly way to access and enjoy Randall's Island. Sustainable South Bronx looks forward to working with the EDC on the completion of other components of the Greenway.”
“We want to congratulate the City and NYCEDC on their vision for the Randall’s Island Connector project which will be a great asset for the community, particularly for the youth of the South Bronx, and are pleased to have completed the acquisition, a critical step in facilitating the only at-grade access between the South Bronx and Randall’s Island,” said Anthony Riccio, Senior Vice President, Harlem River Yard Ventures, Inc.
The five Phase I projects of the South Bronx Greenway master plan, which represent a $48 million total investment, have been funded by City, State, and Federal sources including City capital, Congressman Serrano, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., Assemblywoman Carmen Arroyo, Council Members Maria del Carmen Arroyo and Melissa Mark-Viverito, the New York State Department of State with funds provided under Title 11 of the Environmental Protection Fund, NYSDOT Transportation Enhancement Program, the Wildlife Conservation Society- National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) South Bronx Waterfront Partnership, a Federal Department of Transportation Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) planning grant, the Iroquois Gas Transmission System, L.P., Con Edison, Sustainable South Bronx, THE POINT Community Development Corporation and the Pratt Center for Community Development.
Hunts Point Landing, the Hunts Point Avenue Streetscape and the Lafayette Avenue Streetscape projects were all completed in 2012 to create a greenway network that connects Hunts Point residents to the waterfront open spaces and helps deter trucks from traveling through the residential neighborhood. On Hunts Point Avenue and Spofford Avenue, the streetscape improvements include a new landscaped median, bicycle lanes, and additional landscaping and trees. The Lafayette Avenue streetscape connects the residential neighborhood of Hunts Point to Hunts Point Riverside Park through the construction of a new landscaped median, bicycle lanes, and new street trees, while also supporting new water and sewer infrastructure.
On Food Center Drive, a shared bicycle/pedestrian path which is physically separated from vehicles will be built as part of the greenway network to provide waterfront access. The 1.25 mile long roadway will also be converted from a two-way street to a one-way street, in a counter-clockwise direction, easing congestion, improving safety and allowing for the construction of the new bicycle/pedestrian path. Construction is anticipated to start in Fall 2013.
The South Bronx Greenway master plan, which was unveiled by Mayor Bloomberg in November 2006, was introduced as a key component of the Hunts Point Vision Plan, a comprehensive initiative announced in March 2005 aimed at promoting a competitive business environment and sustainable community on the Hunts Point Peninsula in the South Bronx. The master plan calls for the implementation of a widespread series of projects in the Hunts Point residential and commercial area, aimed at promoting a competitive business environment and sustainable community on the Hunts Point Peninsula in the South Bronx. The Hunts Point Peninsula is home to approximately 800 businesses and over 13,000 employees, as well as a residential community of approximately 12,000 residents. Approximately half of the Peninsula is occupied by the City’s primary food distribution facility, the 329-acre Food Distribution Center, which serves over 23 million customers in the greater metropolitan region. The Food Distribution Center is one of the largest such centers in the world, comprised of over 115 private wholesalers operating from the Hunts Point Terminal Produce Market, the Cooperative Meat Market, and the New Fulton Fish Market, which generate more than $3 billion in combined sales annually. The Food Distribution Center is also comprised of parcels leased to other major food and beverage distribution companies like Anheuser-Busch, Baldor Specialty Foods, Krasdale Foods, Citarella, Sultana, and Dairyland, a subsidiary of Chef’s Warehouse.