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“Crossroads of the World” 40-Million-Dollar Redesign Completed

Just in time for the renowned ball drop on New Year’s Eve, the four-and-a-half-year renovation of Times Square in New York has just been completed.  An article by Jennifer Fermino in the New York Daily News this week quoted New York Mayor Bill de Blasio who stated, “There will be no more iconic place to ring in 2017 than Times Square.”

Named the Times Square Transformation, the project was a three-phase capital project which began in 2012.  Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg had opened the Broadway pedestrian plazas there back in 2009, and the recent project “transformed [the plazas] from repurposed roadways into full pedestrian piazzas” designed by architecture firm Snøhetta.

Con Edison led phase one of the project, in which they installed “major infrastructure improvements below street level on Broadway, bringing up-to-date electric, gas, and steam equipment that has been untouched for many decades (The NYC Department of Design and Construction will first have to dig up trolley tracks that were buried under Broadway since the 19th Century!),” according to the Times Square Alliance.  Their website explains that the $40M project was paid for by the NYC Department of Transportation and with additional funding from the federal government.  While the construction was in progress, the Times Square Alliance website described what the end result would look like:

“The curb-line will be eliminated, so that the plazas can extend uninterrupted from the building lines on one side of Broadway to the 7th Avenue curb-line.  Next, elegant concrete pavers will be laid along the plazas and 7th Avenue sidewalks.  Finally, granite benches will be installed at regular intervals along the plazas, electric and broadcast network plug-in points for Times Square events will be added, and excess street infrastructure will be removed to reduce clutter and streamline the space.”

With its fresh, new redesign, Times Square is now ready and waiting for the expected one million celebrants who will ring in the new year this Saturday, but they may need to return on a less crowded day to truly appreciate the new space!

Image courtesy Snøhetta