Nassau Street reconstruction is in its final phases
Under the city's Fulton Street Corridor project, more than a mile of new water mains, electric and gas ducts, and other vital utilities have been replaced or repaired under Fulton, Nassau, and several more downtown streets since the three-phased project launched in 2007.
This year, the city Department of Design and Construction (DDC) has made substantial progress on segments around the Seaport and upper Financial District. With Fulton Phase 1 completed in 2009, crews now working under the Phase 2 contract have rebuilt Fulton Street east of Gold Street -- coordinating their extensive infrastructure work with the city Parks Departments rebuilding of Pearl Street Playground. (The playground is set to open for Memorial Day weekend, though the official ribbon cutting has not yet been scheduled.)
The area around Fulton and Pearl Street proved to be one of the more complex pieces of reconstruction. Not only was the 150-year-old water main replaced, but in the excavation process, the DDCs archaeologists discovered a range of artifacts stretching back to the 17th century. They included smaller pieces, such as ceramics, toys, and ink bottles from a neighborhood printing press, as well as a historic stone wall and water well that likely stood on the estate of New Yorks first native-born mayor, Stephanus van Cortlandt.
History was also in the utility ducts themselves, many of which were decades old. They left the DDC with major coordination issues between Con Edison, Empire City Subway/Verizon, and even New York City Transit -- since Fulton Street is above an active subway tunnel. Conduits and other lines were replaced or relocated to make way for the new water main, and now the area from Cliff to Pearl Streets is nearing completion.
Final work around Pearl Street includes completion of a new manhole, followed by roadway repaving late this summer. The new roadway will seamlessly tie into the rebuilt streetscape, which includes new curbs, sidewalks, trees, benches, a newsstand, and the new DeLury Park at the corner of Gold Street.
Crews also have replaced a water main in the South Street Seaport historic district, though they worked in a trench rather than performing a full capital street reconstruction in the cobblestoned roadway. The segment between South and Front Street was completed several months ago, and crews are now working between Front and Water Street. They will stop their work on Fulton Street by June 1st, then return in the fall to complete the job. Over the summer, crews will instead turn their attention to replacing the water main on Water Street between Fulton and Beekman.
On Nassau Street, Phase 2 crews completed infrastructure work between Beekman and Spruce earlier this year. In June, they will finish curbs and sidewalks and lay the new asphalt wearing course.
Under the Fulton Phase 3 contract, DDC crews are also at work on Nassau Street, between John and Fulton. They are reconstructing and repairing infrastructure there through approximately late summer. The intersection work at John and Nassau is expected to be complete by early June 2012.
Meanwhile this summer, also as part of Phase 3, crews are completing multiple curb and sidewalk projects around the Financial District. They include Spruce Street from Park Row to Gold, William Street from John to Ann, and Cliff Street from John to Fulton.
To complement the Fulton Corridor street reconstruction, the city Economic Development Corporation also is continuing its Fulton Street Crossroads program. With the help of city grants and design and engineering assistance, local businesses and building owners are able to renovate their faades and storefronts. Several "tier 1" projects already have been completed, and more extensive ones are now in the works -- including the restoration of 127 Fultons historic faade.
With both structural and cosmetic enhancements along the full length of Fulton Street, the areas continued beautification and improved quality-of-life are ensured for generations to come.