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City Says Decrepit Inwood Step-Street on Track for Rehab

Photo: Brad Aaron

It was supposed to happen circa 2005. Then in 2009. Now the city says the restoration of a crumbling block-long staircase that serves as a pedestrian-only street in Inwood will be finished by summer 2013.

The 215th Step-Street connects Broadway to residential blocks at Inwood's northern end. For years its cracked stairs and broken lamps have posed a hazard -- neighborhood residents have been asking the city to rebuild it since at least 1999. In 2007 a woman tripped on a hole in the stairs, cutting her legs and face, prompting renewed calls for action.

In 2008, DOT officials and then-Assembly Member Adriano Espaillat announced that a reconstruction project would be completed the following year. Instead, in the summer of 2009 the city backed off its pledge.

Now the Department of Design and Construction says plans are moving forward.

"The project is in Final Design and that phase is scheduled to be completed by July 2012," a DDC spokesperson told Streetsblog. "The project is scheduled to begin construction in FY 13."

While the news is promising, Inwoodites could be forgiven for not holding their breath.

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