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Renovation of Inwood's W. 215th Step-Street Complete, City Says

By Carolina Pichardo | February 3, 2016 6:30pm
 Officials said the West 215th step-street keeps the original design with a modern touch.   
Inwood West 215th Step-Street
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INWOOD — An overhaul of the West 215th step-street that connects Park Terrace East to Broadway is finally complete after three years of work, city officials announced Wednesday. 

The steps, which were originally built in 1915, started undergoing repairs in early 2014, after several permit delays and months after the city contracted out the project in 2013.

The 100 steps are now wider and equipped with additional lampposts, improved drainage, added handrails, bicycle channels, trees, directional instructions to let residents know where they’re headed and how many steps are along the path, and even two motivational quotes.

“The architecture keeps the original design with more modern touches,” said Dr. Feniosky Peña-Mora, commissioner of the city's Department of Design and Construction, at the unveiling.

Two historic lampposts that were removed during construction and slated to return won't be re-installed until later this month, a DOT spokesman said. 

City officials at the event said talks for the project began in 1999, when State Sen. Adriano Espaillat — then an assemblyman — allocated funds for the step-street. 

“These steps were cracked and dangerous,” Espaillat said at the event. “It was a pet peeve of mine for a long time.”

The remaining funds for the $2.49 million project came through a federal grant and from former Councilman Robert Jackson, the DOT said.

In recent weeks and months, locals also expressed their excitement on social media.