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BY DENNIS LYNCH
The Downtown Alliance will reroute its Downtown Connection free shuttle bus service from Warren Street to Chambers Street starting Feb. 20 to avoid a construction project the city announced in late December.
The buses will travel east to Broadway one block north on Chambers Street instead of on Warren Street near the north side of Rockefeller Park, before continuing on its normal U-shaped route around Downtown to the Seaport. The reroute will eliminate three stops on Warren Street where it intersects Greenwich Street, Church Avenue, and North End Avenue.
The Alliance suggests that riders who normally hop off on Warren Street get off at Murray Street stops instead.
The change will be in effect until at least September 2019, when the Warren Street reconstruction ins due to be completed.
The Department of Design and Construction will begin tearing up a span of Warren Street from West Street to Broadway this month to completely overhaul underground and street-level utilities. It will install new water mains, rehab some sewers, rebuild the street and sidewalks themselves, and install new street lights and traffic signals. Private utility companies will also relocate some utility structures, install new gas mains, and larger utility conduits to accommodate future expansion, according to a city advisory released in December.
One lane of traffic will remain open along Warren Street and street parking will be reduced during the course of the two-and-a-half year project. Some work will take place on nights and weekends. Many residents oppose that, including members of Community Board 1’s Tribeca Committee, who earlier this month criticized the city for failing to consult them before signing a contract for the job.
The bright red Downtown Connection buses run seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 7:30 p.m., roughly every 10 minutes on weekdays and every 15 minutes on weekends. The Alliance started the service in 2003 and extended the original route with a mini loop in Tribeca that included Warren St. in 2011 to better serve riders who used it to get to popular shopping destinations in the area including Whole Foods and Bed Bath & Beyond.
The Alliance also recently added a new Seaport stop at South Street and Peck Slip.