- What is the "Times Square Transformation"?
- What improvements are planned?
- What are the origins of the Transformation?
- How long will the construction take?
- What is the timetable for each phase of the Transformation?
- How will the community be affected?
- Who is paying for the construction?
- How can I promote my business in the bowtie during construction?
The Times Square Transformation is a major capital project with one driving goal: to ensure that Times Square is designed to reflect the bold, cutting-edge spirit that has long-defined the Crossroads of the World while still catering to the needs and capacities of a 21st century urban space.
In the earliest phase, Con Edison will undertake 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!). Con Edison will move from south to north along Broadway, beginning between 42nd and 43rd Streets and ending between 46th and 47th Streets, excavating one block of the pedestrian plaza at a time.
The city will then begin improving the appearance of the Broadway plazas – transforming what is now painted asphalt into a world-class urban piazza. 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.
The plans for the Transformation originated in several phases over the past decade. In 2002, the city first proposed upgrading the underground infrastructure of Times Square – a task that was delayed time and again, despite being long overdue. Projects converged in 2012, enabling these necessary upgrades to finally happen.
In 2009, former Mayor Michael Bloomberg opened the Broadway pedestrian plazas in Times Square, creating new pedestrian spaces between 42nd and 47th Streets. This landmark decision in transportation policy improved how employees, residents, and tourists experience Times Square, providing 50% more space for events, concessions, and the use of new street furniture. It lessened pedestrian congestion considerably, with 65% of New York City residents reporting that the plazas improved their experience of Times Square. In February 2010, Bloomberg announced that the plazas would be made permanent – and that they would be transformed from repurposed roadways into full pedestrian piazzas. The city selected architecture firm Snøhetta to lead the design process.
According to the city, the construction - from initial utility work to the installation of concrete street pavers and granite benches - is set to last from Spring 2012 through Spring 2016.
Con Edison commenced their improvement of underground infrastructure in June 2012 and was completed in summer 2013.
The city began transforming the plazas in the fall of 2012 and will continue to do so through 2014.
The project will move to 7th Avenue in 2014, when the 7th Avenue sidewalks will be transformed to match the plaza followed by additional underground infrastructure work.
Street removal will, at times, require noisy equipment such as jackhammers, backhoes, and excavators, and small portions of the plazas will temporarily be closed to pedestrians and sign trucks. We recognize that this will provide an inconvenience for many of our local businesses, employees and residents, and we are eager to do everything in our power to mitigate and expedite the interruption.
This is a NYC Department of Transportation project, with some additional funding from the federal government.
Businesses affected by the Times Square Transformation construction are eligible for signs that direct pedestrians to their storefront. These signs are attached to the barricades along the construction site areas, and will only include business name and logo. If you would like a free sign, please contact Karen Flores, Community Construction Liaison, directly at (212) 784-0184 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.