Today, U.S. Senator Charles Schumer, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and U.S. Representative Ritchie Torres announced $150 million in federal funding for the Cross-Bronx Expressway, Community Connector Road. The Community Connector Roadway will include dedicated bus lanes as well as pathways for bicyclists and pedestrians. The new roadway will improve transportation connections for the surrounding communities. The Cross-Bronx Expressway Community Connector Road is critical to New York State Department of Transportation’s rehabilitation and replacement of five Cross-Bronx Expressway bridges and will serve as a temporary detour that allows that construction without needing to close a lane in each direction for six years. Senator Schumer was instrumental in advocating directly for this funding, and Rep. Torres played a pivotal role in fighting for his constituents in the Bronx.
Schumer, Gillibrand and Torres said the funds are part of the federal MEGA grant program they helped create when they passed President Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure law in the Senate and House.
“When you look at the Cross Bronx Expressway, you see the massive lanes, the cars, the pollution and the disconnect,” said U.S. Senator Charles Schumer. “That is why, under the Biden Administration, we finally had the chance to right some of the infrastructure wrongs of the past, both in terms of pollution and traffic flow in the Bronx. Well, we not only took the chance, we made the most of it to the tune of $150,000,000. Today’s MEGA grant win will help establish dedicated bus lanes, as well as pathways for bicyclists and pedestrians. These are present day infrastructure characteristics the Bronx not only needs, but deserves. I was proud to partner with Congressman Torres on this effort and look forward to breaking ground soon.”
“The Cross-Bronx Expressway has cut through working-class neighborhoods, isolated communities, closed local businesses, and increased traffic levels in marginalized and low socioeconomic communities. As a result, Bronx residents have been exposed to noise, pollution, and poor health outcomes,” said U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. “This incredible $150 million investment will help transform and connect the Bronx to the rest of New York, bring economic prosperity to the borough, and undo injustices caused by decades of disinvestment.”
“For years, Leader Schumer and I have been advocating to make the Cross Bronx Expressway a priority of the federal government,” said Congressman Ritchie Torres. “We have secured a 150 million dollar grant that represents a down payment toward the transformation of the Cross Bronx Expressway. The infrastructure of the Bronx needs and deserves nothing less than its fair share of federal funding. Under our leadership, the Bronx will be left behind no longer.”
As cited in the Guardian, devised by Moses and built between 1948 and 1972, the expressway produces noise and air pollution that puts roughly 250,000 people living in the South Bronx at the highest risk for asthma in the country.
The Cross Bronx Expressway (CBE) Multimodal Community Connector Roadway is a critical component of NYSDOT’s Rehabilitation / Replacement of Five Cross Bronx Expressway (I-95) Bridges between Boston Road and Rosedale Avenue, Bronx County project, which will rehabilitate/replace five deteriorating bridges and approach roadways on the Cross Bronx Expressway (CBE) and design and construct a new ramp. When completed, it will feature dedicated bus lanes and pathways for bicyclists and pedestrians that will improve transportation connections for residents of surrounding neighborhoods. But, prior to that, the Multimodal Community Connector Roadway will serve a crucial role as a temporary diversion/detour that facilitates construction on the five bridges by preventing the need to close one lane on the CBE in both directions for six years. This allows construction on the five bridges to be completed in four years instead of six.
The new roadway, which will include dedicated bus lanes and bicycle/pedestrian paths, will improve multimodal connections between neighborhoods on both sides of the Bronx River. Furthermore, it will provide a direct connection to Starlight Park, a multi-faceted recreational amenity, and the Bronx River Greenway.
As the CBE passes over many local streets and railroad tracks in the Bronx section of New York City, much of its structure is comprised of bridges and viaducts. Five bridges are the subject of the NYSDOT’s Rehabilitation / Replacement of Five Cross Bronx Expressway (I-95) Bridges between Boston Road and Rosedale Avenue, Bronx County (PIN X727.07) project. The overall project includes the design and construction of a new ramp that connects the southbound Bronx River Parkway to the westbound CBE and a new, Multimodal Community Connector Roadway (MCCR) that links Boston Road to the west and Rosedale Avenue to the east.
This project is currently in the preliminary engineering phase. A Public Involvement Plan and an environmental justice-focused Public Engagement Plan were prepared for this project and approved by FHWA. NYSDOT will meet with environmental justice community representatives, Bronx Community Boards, and a robust public information meeting will be held in spring / summer 2024. Total project costs stands at roughly $258,000,000.