Roberto Clemente Plaza to open after 10 years

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THE BRONX -

It's a project a decade in the making, but officials say Third Avenue’s Roberto Clemente Plaza is finally just weeks away from opening to the public.

Construction fences still stand guard at the site, but the gates to Roberto Clemente Plaza will soon be open.

The plaza’s opening marks the end of a 10-year process for the neighborhood.

The 12,000-square-foot plaza between 148th and 149th streets is set to open in the next couple weeks.

Officials say there will be open space and plenty of seating with a 21st century bus stop and kiosks.

One of the most anticipated features will be a water fountain that when the water is turned off, will turn into a stage for performances and other entertainment.

Officials say the plaza will have a full program ready for September that will include everything from Zumba to tai chi, salsa dancing and music.

Other features coming to the plaza include a public art display honoring Roberto Clemente, which should be installed by spring, and a concession stand.

Overall, the price of the project, which included some improvements to surrounding streets, came out to more than $13 million.

Bronx Councilman Rafael Salamanca, who worked with the Third Avenue Business Improvement District to move along the project, told News 12 in statement, "In advance of its completion, I allocated funding this year for the Third Avenue bid to organize programming at the plaza to engage the community."

He also added, “We expect it to be heavily used and we'll be working closely with city agencies to ensure it's maintained, kept safe and put to good use."

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