One more block of Worth is now paved and back open

Worth Street is not fully liberated yet, but the block between Church and West Broadway is paved and open and truly unrecognizable. In fact, I was so disoriented when I walked by coming from Soho yesterday that I did a triple take — I was sure I was on the wrong block. (My pics are fine, but the one from F. above is glorious.)

However, the street is still under construction in the next block east, and neighbors there are at their wits’ end after five years of torture. The projected end date now is spring 2022.

The issues, neighbors say, are not just the inconveniences of construction, but the symptoms of it that have led to a “diminished quality of life and real estate value.” Garbage is consistently trapped in the fence and then strewn across the sidewalks, and the fence encourages the wrong uses on the sidewalks, especially after hours. The residents of 73 Worth have appealed most recently to CB1, noting that:

● Most of the block’s retail remains empty because the block is so undesirable
● What was once a safe, bustling block has become one where adults fear potential danger when walking alone at night due to insufficient lighting
● There is human feces littering the street
● Garbage bags are being ripped open by homeless people and the refuse is then scattered along the street, attracting rodents
● Garbage piles up in the construction zones, which attracts the rats

We feel helpless and the mental health of our community has been declining to a level where people just want to move out, uprooting their lives.”

When I last tried to get a handle on the Worth Street progress, I was led to believe they were just six months behind schedule on a five-year project. It’s an extremely complicated build requiring coordination among a half dozen agencies and the rerouting of 100-year-old infrastructure. But a reader noted that the DDC’s own timeline was originally scheduled to be three years when it started in 2016 (see pic below), ending in May 2019. As a result, who can blame any neighbors for being cynical?

Addressing these quality of life issues in the meantime with increased sanitation and security lighting seems like a very small ask for five years of pain.

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  1. Enjoy the new road now because if things progress as they normally do in NYC, it will only be a matter of weeks before one utility or another is digging it up again.

    • The SW corner of Worth & Lafayette was excavated and filled/paved no less than three times in an 18 month span in 2018/2019. I know because I lived above it and got to watch the glorious progression (+regression+progression x3).

  2. Thanks for covering this Pam. While we have found project leaders to be responsive to reported trash problems by having workers clean when informed of the issue, and recently rat boxes were placed in an area in need, there is still an encampment in the bus stop that DHS refuses to deal with, the lack of lighting on the block of Worth between Broadway and Church and on Church between Worth and Leonard is abysmal. Restaurant owners recently acquired bins to help deter rats and people ripping into bags but there is only so much that can stop a person intent on tearing bags open and leaving a disgusting mess on the sidewalk. It has been a living hell.

  3. I stopped in street and did a complete double take when I saw the block done. I too became disoriented.