Long Awaited Project To Commence Next Month

After several years of delays, primarily due to the slow release of a federal grant by the State Department of Transportation, the City’s North Avenue corridor improvement project is finally set to begin. The first phase of this project will result in major changes in the so-called “College District” between Eastchester Road and Fifth Avenue. Some areas of North Avenue will be widened to permit two full lanes of through-traffic in both directions, as well as dedicated left-turn-only lanes. In addition, the “College District” will be beautified with street trees, pedestrian-scaled lamps, new sidewalks, trash receptacles, bollards, and the burial of overhead utility wires. Last night, the City Council took the final vote needed to begin work by accepting the lowest responsible bid and allocating $3.4 million for construction. The project is funded almost entirely by federal and state grants, as well as a $200,000 contribution from Iona College. Work will get underway next month and should be finished by December 2006. There may be some temporary inconvenience during the construction period, but the dramatic upgrade of North Avenue will be well worth it. The remainder of the North Avenue corridor will be improved over a period of years as additional funding becomes available.