The Upcoming Warren Street Dig: Here's What You Should Know

Work will start on this block of Warren Street, between West and Greenwich streets, and the next block east to West Broadway. Inset: File photo of street construction on Nassau Street. Photos: Carl Glassman/Tribeca Trib

Jan. 24, 2017

Residents and business owners are once again bracing for years of noise, dust and disruption along a torn-up Tribeca street. This time it is Warren Street between West Street and Broadway (and portions of the cross streets). The work—primarily to replace water mains, some more than 100 years old, and reconstruct and repair sewers—is set to begin next month and continue for two-and-a-half years.

At this month’s meeting of Community Board 1’s Tribeca Committee, officials from the city’s Department of Design and Construction, the agency in charge of the work, described what lies ahead. Not surprisingly, they faced a dispirited committee that reflected a neighborhood weary of construction of all kinds.

“You can understand from our perspective—we’re just inundated,” said the committee chair, Elizabeth Lewinsohn. “It would be one thing if it were just one [project]; there’s an assault from developers, from construction projects and then tearing up the street. It’s just taking a toll on everybody in our neighborhood.”

It did not help that, once again, the committee members were hearing about a project when it was too late to provide input of their own. But the DDC’s Norberto Acevedo said he would be back to give updates on the project and listen to potential complaints.

“We can come here and discuss any issues that the general community has as work begins,” Acevedo said. “And if there’s anything we can do to mitigate some of those negative circumstances from construction we’ll certainly hear them and do what we can.”

In the meantime, here are some answers to questions about the project, as provided by DDC representatives.

What are the hours of construction?

7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday with “some” weekend work.

What about the private utility work that goes along with it?

As always, utilities have to move their conduits out of the way in order for the city’s contractors to do their work. At the same time, they take the opportunity to upgrade their own installations.

How long will work continue on a single block?

“On any particular block, probably an eight-month time period,” said Joseph Lione, the resident engineer on the project. “We’ll only be working on two blocks of Warren Street at a time and one side street.” Work on Greenwich Street is expected to start three months after construction begins on Warren Street.

Will there be night work and water shutdowns?

“We do not generally do night work on this project except if there’s a water shutdown,” Lione said. Another DDC official later told the Trib that he anticipates that residents and business owners will have their water shut off about a dozen times, always at night from 9 or 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. the next morning. A 72-hours notice is mandated. “Con Ed usually does its work at night but we don’t know when they are going to come,” said Walkman Wong, DDC’s Deputy Director for Construction. “They put us on a list. They tell us, ‘Tomorrow night we’re going to be there.’ And then sometimes they don’t show up. If we know that Con Ed is going to do work we'll send it out as notification.”

How will traffic be altered?

One lane will be closed on Warren Street, starting with the north side of the street and then reversed. Part of the west lane on Greenwich Street, between Warren and Chambers Street, will also be closed. Parking will be affected but the DDC says that deliveries will be allowed. The M9, M5 and express bus stops may be temporarily relocated.

What is the impact to P.S. 234 at Warren and Greenwich streets?

“There will be times when [buses and cars] will not be able to use the curb cut outside the school,” Lione said. Buses will load and unload on Greenwich Street near the southwest corner of Greenwich and Warren, outside of Whole Foods. The Citi Bike rack, which holds more than 30 bikes, will be removed to make room for it. Flaggers will assist with street crossing.

Will the streets that intersect with Warren be affected?

Portions of the streets will be closed so that brick sewers can be lined and catch basins installed, but there will be no excavation work on the intersecting streets.

How can people sign up for notifications and updates on the street work? And what is the process for making complaints?

The Department of Design and Construction will send out advisories. To add your name to the email list, write to Angela Salibi, the community construction liaison, at She can be contacted with questions or complaints by phone at 212-966-2603. 311 should be called after work hours. People are also advised to call Community Board 1 at 212-669-7970.