MORRISANIA — The city plans to repair the steep public stairway that connects Teller and Clay avenues at East 168th Street. The stairway's cracked steps and loose stones are in a “dangerous condition”, according to the city's Department of Design and Construction.
The $2.2 million restoration will bring new lights, benches, retaining walls, handrails, granite steps and landings, as well as a Willow Oak-filled tree pit to the stairs, known as a “step street.”
“I think it’s going to be an extreme enhancement,” said Jose Rodriguez, district manager of Community Board 4, which unanimously endorsed the city’s repair plans. “The residents will finally be able to take some pride in their area.”
The 184-foot stairway, which scales the hill between the two avenues in place of a street, is in bad shape.
It suffers from missing and loose stones in the stairway walls, uneven steps and landings, broken drains that cause ponding, bent handrails, decaying stone columns and more, according to a presentation by the city’s Department of Design and Construction.
“It’s a dangerous condition,” Bharat Parekh, director of the DDC’s bridge and retaining wall division, told the community board.
Construction is set to begin next summer and finish in the fall of 2015. During that time, the step street will be closed to the public.