After Years of Advocacy, New Sidewalk Installed at Rutgers Houses


People who live in and around NYCHA’s Rutgers Houses have been complaining for years about the sorry state of the sidewalks bordering the public housing complex. Today, crews are finally finishing up a replacement project that got a little extra nudge from State Sen. Daniel Squadron.

The senator, along with representatives from city agencies and the offices of other elected officials, gathered on Rutgers Street (near Madison Street) to watch as the final slabs of concrete were poured.

During the summer, the de Blasio administration announced it was tripling the budget for NYCHA sidewalk repairs to $3 million over the next four years. The housing authority established a list of priority projects. The Lower East Side job covered 25,000 sq. ft and cost around $400,000. It took around three weeks to finish. The Department of Transportation is responsible for overseeing the work, along with the Depaartment of Design and Construction.

Squadron noted that the crumbling sidewalk posed a safety hazard and also increased the rat problem in the area. He also acknowledged Rutgers Tenant Association President Michael Steele, who has been pushing the project for years. Squadron encouraged local residents to use his office as a resource to help with “quality of life improvements.” You can contact his office here.

U.S. Rep. Nydia Velazquez, Assemblyman Sheldon Silver, City Council member Margaret Chin, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and Community Board 3 have all advocated for fixing the buckling sidewalks at the Rutgers Houses. Squadron and company wrote a letter to NYCHA in September urging action.