HELL'S KITCHEN, Manhattan (WABC) -- Officials cut the ribbon Tuesday on upgrades both under and above ground along a major thoroughfare in Midtown, Manhattan.
The project began as a $231 million below ground water main improvement project to install 14 miles of new water mains and sewers along the busy 9th Avenue corridor between West 50th and West 59th streets and expanded to include a complete redesign and reconstruction of the street level as well.
"9th Avenue it would be totally normal to walk in the bike lane or before that in the moving lane because you didn't have the space for it," Christine Berthet said.
Berthet, with Community Board 4, advocated for this redesign.
The results include expanded sidewalks to reduce pedestrian crowding and shorten crossings; cyclist-friendly upgrades to the intersections; and new commercial loading zones.
It's all part of the Department of Transportation's "Super Sidewalks" redesign initiative, which aims to ease pedestrian congestion across Midtown.
At Tuesday's ribbon cutting, officials had nothing but praise for the inter-departmental planning and collaboration that made the 9th Avenue improvements possible.
However, Eyewitness News reporter Crystal Cranmore found several cyclists riding on the super sidewalk, ignoring the one and only pedestrian sign.
"One wrong step and you're in the road," one cyclist said.
Councilman Erik Bottcher said they will add more signs to make it clear it's for pedestrians.
More upgrades are planned for the area in the coming months.
DOT will work to further expand the protected bicycle network and improve pedestrian safety in Hell's Kitchen, on nearby 10th Avenue and the section of Ninth Avenue to the south.