Tell State DOT Hunts Point Doesn’t Need Another Highway Blocking Access to the Bronx River

The deadline for initial public comment on the state DOT's plan for a bulky new Bruckner Expressway ramp next to the waterfront ends Wednesday, October 18.

The state DOT plan calls for a highway ramp abutting the Bronx River and flying over part of Concrete Plant Park.
The state DOT plan calls for a highway ramp abutting the Bronx River and flying over part of Concrete Plant Park.

A critical deadline is approaching in the fight against an unwanted highway project in the South Bronx. The public has until Wednesday, October 18, to tell the New York State Department of Transportation to alter a plan for new Bruckner Expressway ramps that would cut Hunts Point off from the Bronx River.

The state DOT wants to build a ramp along Edgewater Road to provide direct access between the highway and the Hunts Point Market food distribution center. At $1.7 billion, it’s by far the costliest component of the state’s plan to turn the Sheridan Expressway into a surface street. (Reconfiguring the Sheridan as an at-grade “boulevard” is only projected to cost $97 million.)

The neighborhood advocates who campaigned for decades to remove the Sheridan rejected the idea of highway ramps on Edgewater years ago. In an online petition, the Southern Bronx River Watershed Alliance points out that the state DOT’s plan would go against their objectives to reduce exposure to truck traffic and provide safer waterfront access:

Ramps at Edgewater will create an additional barrier to the many waterfront amenities on the Bronx River and brings additional truck traffic and emissions to the Hunts Point residential community, setting back decades of efforts to improve a community overburdened with industrial pollution, traffic fatalities, few parks, and high rates of asthma and heart disease.

The Edgewater plan was first turned down by community groups back in 2003. Since then, a 2013 city study recommended a different option to improve truck access to the market: new Bruckner ramps touching down at Oak Point Avenue and Leggett Avenue, which would lead more truck traffic to stay on the highway and avoid local streets, without blocking off waterfront access.

The SBRWA endorsed the city proposal — which also included a more substantial reduction in the width of the Sheridan — as a fair deal after nearly two decades of advocacy and community planning to relieve the burden imposed by highway infrastructure and truck traffic on the neighborhood. So far, the Cuomo administration has appeared determined to ignore the result of that process as it moves ahead with a watered down version of the Sheridan removal.

The state DOT claims the Oak Point Avenue option would cost $2.6 billion, but that estimate assumes a full reconstruction and widening of a section of the Bruckner. The city study said the project could be completed without taking on the extra scope of work in the state DOT’s project documents.

October 18 marks the end of the initial public input period for the project’s environmental impact study. There will be a hearing and another comment period in the spring, once the EIS is completed, but space for public comment at two hearings over the summer was fairly limited, according to attendees.

You can sign the petition on the SBRWA’s website. Comments can also be submitted directly to state DOT at

  • Vooch

    Every single superhighway in NYC should be removed and the pre existing street grid restored.

    The FDR is a prime candidate

  • Larry Littlefield

    I don’t think it’s a bad idea to connect this key industrial area directly to the highway.

    But $1.7 billion for a couple of ramps? And $2.6 billion for the alternative?

  • reasonableexplanation

    Agreed, the idea is solid, and we should encourage more direct trucking routes to get trucks on them and off the streets.

    The high cost is very suspicious. I mean for god’s sakes the entire TZB replacement cost 4 billion. No way this should be the same order of magnitude.

  • Joe R.

    I don’t get the ridiculous price, either. They spent a few hundred million rebuilding the Kew Gardens interchange. No reason something like this should be more than a few tens of millions.

  • JusticeinTranspo

    The community wants direct access for trucks going to the Hunts Point markets, but they want ramps away from the residential neighborhood already overburden with asthma and other negative health impacts. SBRWA and the community endorsed the City’s 2013 study that recommended direct truck access by building ramps at Oak point and Leggett Avenue, in an industrial area, away from where people live and away from parks and the revitalized waterfront. The community wants and deserves a smart project. Even the Hunts Point businesses endorsed Oak Point Ramps. The state’s proposal to build Edgewater ramps ignores nearly two decades of hard won community planning.

  • Bob

    ABSOLUTELY agree. FDR is an easy one – look at how beautifully West St looks without the raised highway. A surface street there would be a huge improvement and a good portion of it is already at surface level anyway. I thought Bloomberg was edging this way below the BK Bridge – but it never came to fruition. Raised (or sunken) highways in cities do not belong in a 21st century city.

  • I also agree on the FDR.
    While I’ve used #deckthehighways on social media to discuss burying asthmaways in tunnels to restore surface space, I’m not opposed to removal. Were it in my power, I’d start with the POS Cross-Bronx!

  • Thanks for the reminder, Streetsblog.
    The cost alone is a huge red flag…

  • Vooch


    Agree that Superhighways are atrocities inside Cities.

    BUT disagree and blvd. No blvd. just restore the pre-existing street grid.

    think about it 🙂

  • Menachem Goldstein

    1.7B for a single highway ramp?? And how much are they arguing over to fix the ENTIRE subway system?

  • douglasawillinger

    Placing the traffic in a concrete tunnel box buried under such a park is the win win solution.

  • douglasawillinger

    And thus place the FDR traffic upon that surface boulevard.

  • douglasawillinger

    For that amount of money they ought to get a flanking set of tunnels for Manhattan’s Metro North as an underground truck access road.

  • douglasawillinger

    The activism about the Sheridan fails to address the infrastructure system in general and thus results in locking in the Bruckner’s elevated section.

  • Vooch

    you mean 1st avenue ?

  • Vooch

    no need to replace the FDR with anything.

    The FDR motor traffic is not commercial. It’s just people moving in inefficient cars. People can move faster and more efficiently using Subway, SBS, or even cycling. ( cycling is faster during rush hours )?

    The blight of the FDR reduces property values for blocks along the east side.

    Just do it

  • douglasawillinger

    You have apparently never tried to cross West Street/12th Avenue?

  • douglasawillinger

    Was not that said about railroads through much of the 1800s?

  • douglasawillinger

    And how does that desire line of vehicular traffic between the GWB and I-95 in the eastern Bronx flow?

  • Vooch

    remove the FDR and restore the pre-existing street grid

    ( there was no street along the water )

  • If, by this, you mean how does NE Thruway traffic access the GWB without the Cross-Bronx Asthmaway, it’s simple – Bruckner to Deegan (if we keep ‘em, bury ‘em). Plenty of motorists already use this route to get around the Cross-Bronx’s interminable delays, and I-95 would still be physically continuous – just gotta change some labels.

    In any case, a Cross-Bronx subway would be much more efficient (and have much higher capacity) in transporting Bronxites, which constitute a small portion of the Cross-Bronx’s traffic.

  • douglasawillinger

    Where is my comment?

  • See if it was flagged as spam. Happened to one of my comments once…

  • douglasawillinger

    No indication of that in my email system. Notably though the comment did appear initially, and without any indication of moderation/approval.


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