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Highway Expansion

A Reason to Give Thanks: State DOT Won’t Widen the Deegan

This just in: The State DOT will not widen exit ramps from the Major Deegan Expressway, the Mott Haven Herald reports. NYSDOT Region 11 spokesperson Adam Levine confirmed to Streetsblog that the agency will also refrain from adding "auxiliary lanes" as part of its plan to fix a segment of the Deegan along the Harlem River. Instead, the agency has opted to rehab but not expand the 50-year-old roadway.

Opposition to expanding the highway was widespread. Community activists, city officials, and electeds -- including Congressman Jose Serrano -- condemned the proposal as a threat to redevelopment planned for the Harlem River waterfront. Transportation advocates warned that the project would attract more traffic, negating the promised reductions in congestion.

By choosing the rehab-only option, the agency will save somewhere in the neighborhood of $100 million. NYSDOT had previously set aside $266 million for the expansion
option in its five-year capital plan. And the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, which collected dozens
of public comments opposing the proposed ramps and lanes, reported yesterday that NYSDOT had pegged the full cost of the expansion project at $343 million. The rehab-only project, by comparison, will cost an estimated $170 to $200 million, said Levine.

Here's one suggestion for where to invest some of that savings: Tear down the Sheridan.

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