When the Sheridan Expressway was built in 1962, it opened up better access to Manhattan from points north and east.
But it had another, less desired effect, which was cutting off part of the south Bronx from the waterfront.
It’s been more than 50 years, but now Gov. Andrew Cuomo says they are fixing a mistake.
“Sheridan Expressway, they built a road between the community and the water. Why? Because it was easy to run the highway next to the water,” Cuomo said at a news conference Wednesday. “But what you did is you cut the community…off from the waterfront.”
The old elevated Sheridan has now been replaced with a new roadway that has grade-level crossings and allows pedestrians to access parks and waterways that had been cut off.
That old Sheridan was built by a giant of city planning, Robert Moses, who most famously destroyed multiple neighborhoods when he built the Cross Bronx Expressway right through the center of the borough.
“The common denominator for many of these communities: they were poorer communities, poorer places,” Cuomo said. “They had less political power, less of a powerful voice.”
The new Sheridan is part of a larger $1.8 billion redevelopment of the south Bronx, including rebuilding part of the Bruckner Expressway so that trucks no longer have to drive through neighborhoods to reach the Hunts Point Market. Asthma rates here are some of the highest in the nation.
Community leaders want the changes, but also don’t want to lose the Hunts Point Market, which generates $2 billion in economic activity per year.
“We do not want to harm the economic engines of our borough, which are the produce market, the meat market, and the fish market, among others in Hunts Point,” Bronx Borough President Rubén Díaz Jr. said at the news conference. “These are industries that create jobs in our borough.”
Construction on the Bruckner will begin this month, with the first phase to be complete in 2022. The second and final phase will be finished in 2025.
Currently, about 78,000 vehicles travel to the Hunts Point Market each day, 13,000 of those are trucks that use local roads.
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Source: Spectrum News NY1 | The Bronx