Metropolitan Museum Plaza Construction Will Re-route Bus and Foot Traffic
By Kiratiana Freelon on October 15, 2012 9:46am
UPPER EAST SIDE — The planned $60 million revamp of the Metropolitan Museum of Art's plaza begins Monday, temporarily re-routing some bus and foot traffic along Fifth Avenue, officials said.
Pedestrians and bus riders can expect two minor changes as the plaza is rehabbed to modernize lighting and landscaping and add public seating and a fountain, according to Sam Schwartz, whose transportation engineering firm is coordinating logistics for the project.
On the west curb of Fifth Avenue, the 80-81st Street MTA bus stop will be part of the work zone for a month starting Oct. 15. As an alternative, Schwartz said, passengers should use the 79th Street or 84th Street bus stops.
Tour buses that stop at 83rd and 84th streets will instead stop at 86th and 87th streets.
There will also be some minor alterations to area sidewalks for the duration of the construction, which is expected to last 14 months.
At times, 20-foot stretches of sidewalk will be narrowed for month-long periods.
"At some pinch points, it will get as narrow as 10-12 feet," Schwartz said.
Contractors will be shifting the work zones so that not all of the sidewalks will be affected at once, he added.
Harold Holzer, senior vice president for external affairs at the Met, said construction will not impact museum access.
The staircase — as well as every entrance — will remain open, he said.
Holzer also told Community Board 8 and DNAinfo.com New York that explanatory signs will be posted on construction barriers.