Highway access that improves a community

Delivering efficiency and better health in the Bronx

The Hunts Point Interstate Access Improvement Project is expected to enhance the quality of life for residents in the Bronx’s underserved and long-overlooked Hunts Point Peninsula neighborhood, while boosting the efficiency of the Hunts Point Food Distribution Center. More than 60 percent of the New York City metropolitan area’s produce, fish and meat pass through the center over the course of a year, and yet it has never had direct highway access. As a result, more than 20,000 vans, box trucks and 18-wheelers travel along neighborhood surface streets each day, adding to the quality-of-life issues that have traditionally plagued the South Bronx.

The Hunts Point project will widen the Bruckner Expressway, providing direct interstate access ramps to the center and shifting truck traffic off the local streets. Our joint venture team, working in partnership the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT), delivered project planning and environmental impact studies, preliminary engineering, three design-build procurement packages and quality assurance services for this $1.7 billion project.

Meeting an ambitious schedule

The Hunts Point project is the largest design-build project in NYSDOT history. The aggressive, six-year construction completion schedule — one that allowed for minimal disruptions to the community and the environment — presents a unique challenge to our team.

Innovative construction approaches and construction phasing are enabling us to overcome these potential obstacles. We are dividing the project into three segments, enabling certain construction projects to overlap between the three design-build contracts. This approach requires not only a comprehensive understanding of the various construction methods but adherence to a complex delivery schedule. By closely coordinating activities with NYSDOT and multiple agencies, including the Federal Highway Administration and the New York City Department of Parks & Recreation, our team is improving community connectivity and access to the Hunts Point Peninsula.

Adding neighborhood improvements

The project provides additional improvements to the neighborhood, as its scope includes construction of a new 4-mile bike lane and new parks, plus improvements to eight existing parks. We are also enhancing safety at more than 20 intersections along Bruckner Boulevard by adding such elements as curb bump outs, new traffic signals and improved ADA-compliant crossings. A previously vacant area has also been developed for potential use as a farmer’s market so the community can enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables.

A win for the market and the neighborhood

The Hunts Point Interstate Access Improvement Project is delivering benefits on multiple fronts. With direct highway access, food distribution is more efficient, enhancing the $5 billion in annual economic activity generated by the Hunts Point Food Distribution Center. The community is seeing a reduction in pollution and increased safety for cars and pedestrians since truck traffic is shifting from neighborhood streets to the highway. Additionally, new and upgraded recreational opportunities are improving the quality of life for residents in this underserved South Bronx neighborhood.