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Work on Times Square Redesign Delayed by Months

By Mathew Katz | December 18, 2012 8:07am

MANHATTAN — The city is looking for someone to rebuild Times Square — months after the massive project was initially supposed to be underway.

On Friday, the city asked construction companies to bid for the chance to transform the Crossroads of the World into an ultra-modern plaza.

Initial work on the project kicked off in spring, as utility companies upgraded and relocated their infrastructure, but the main work has yet to get started.

In May, representatives from the city's Department of Design and Construction, as well as the Department of Transportation, told Community Boards that construction would begin in the fall and would pause temporarily between Dec. 27 and Jan. 1 for the square's annual New Year celebration.

According to the city's posting, applications to rebuild Times Square are due by Jan. 15, meaning the project will not start until after that date.

A spokesman speaking on behalf of the DOT and DDC said the redesign project was moving ahead as planned, but sources close to it said there have been delays.

The change has the potential to shake up the project's carefully coordinated schedule. The DOT promised work would be timed in phases, with crews working their way north from West 42nd Street to West 47th Street on Broadway before moving on to Seventh Avenue.

Both streets will be repaved, with a new mosaic design built into the concrete. The redesign will also include new lamps, benches and other additions to the street landscape.

The project, originally slated for a 2015 completion, is certain to have a heavy impact on traffic in the area — major streets will see lane reductions when crews are at work.

Under the project's original schedule, the Department of Transportation planned to complete work on Broadway by the end of 2013, then move on to the Seventh Avenue work, which is estimated to take just under two years.

It was unclear if there were any changes to the plan presented in May. At that meeting, DOT pledged to keep a 15-foot wide access path open for pedestrians while work was underway.

The request for proposals posted last week offers few details, stating that the work will entail "sewer, water main, street lighting and traffic work."