New York governor Kathy Hochul has announced the commencement of reconstruction on the Park Avenue Viaduct replacement project in East Harlem, New York City, US.

The areas beneath the development have been cleared for the viaduct’s updated foundations and columns to help reinforce the renovated structure.

Phase 1 of this project will see the replacement of significant parts of the elevated steel structure that carries four Metro-North Railroad tracks along Park Avenue between East 110th Street and the Harlem River Lift Bridge.

It will comprise the reconstruction of existing buildings, communications, power, rail, and signal systems from East 115th to East 123rd Street.

Construction in this phase is set to last until 2026 and will ensure the vital structure will remain strong for the foreseeable future. The phase is valued at $590m, out of which $500.9m is being provided by the federal government.

Substructure work is currently underway, emphasising the viaduct’s foundations and columns.

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Hochul said: “Carrying hundreds of thousands of passengers every day, the Park Avenue Viaduct is a critical piece of our transportation infrastructure.

“This replacement is essential to providing faster and safer service to our Metro-North customers, while minimising impact to the local community.”

Metro-North Railroad trains travelling along the Harlem, Hudson, and New Haven lines to reach Harlem-125th Street Station and Grand Central Terminal all use the Park Avenue Viaduct.

Metropolitan Transportation Authority Construction & Development (MTA C&D) president Jamie Torres-Springer said: “MTA C&D will utilise innovative modern tools and materials to reduce construction noise and vibrations to the surrounding neighbourhoods, and we are coordinating closely with the City of New York to integrate this project with DOT street improvements.”