Traffic jams have disappered from the section of 71st Street between Harvard and Yale avenues, as the street now is six lanes. The project was divided into three different time sections.
The first section to be let was the 71st Street and Harvard Avenue intersection in 1993, which began with much dirt , excavation and storm sewer work. Large concrete retaining walls were built at the intersection, especially on the northwest corner, where a driveway snakes through them to reach a house that originally was near "street level." The intersection eventually was completed in the fall of 1995, with the new facility being much lower than its predecessor. Several homes and duplexes adjacent to the project were bought out and demolished.
As work at the Harvard Avenue intersection was winding down, construction began on 71st Street between Harvard and Yale Avenues, which became "Phase III" of the project after the city decided to award a separate contract for the section between Lewis and Harvard avenues. This project began in early 1996 and was completed in 1997. The project included shrinking the medians at Yale Avenue to provide six lanes of traffic and left-turn lanes. These medians now are narrow and concrete without any grass or trees. Concrete retaining walls were built between Yale and Richmond avenues and between New Haven and Harvard avenues.
In the background, construction on the third section of the Lewis-to-Yale project, (Lewis to Harvard avenues - Phase IV), clearly is visible. Photograph taken June 20, 1997.
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