A swampy area that has been both an eyesore and health hazard in the Bronx is finally getting cleaned up.
On Tuesday, the Bloomberg administration gave NY1 an exclusive tour of the now dry "Bronx Swamp" in Mott Haven.
City officials say they pumped out over 650,000 gallons of water and removed nearly 100,000 pounds of garbage from the abandoned freight train tracks.
Residents had complained for more than 10 years for the city to address the area, which many say was a breeding ground for disease-carrying insects and rodents. In August, the city's public advocate and other community leaders convinced the Mayor's Office that it was a health hazard, and numerous municipal agencies worked together on the effort.
"Lots of mosquitos, insects, rats, everything. At least they are trying to do something nice, I really appreciate what you guys did," said Mott Haven resident Enrique Malave.
"For the first time I am grateful. They said they were going to do some thing and they pulled through. And they are working on it every day. [Department of] Sanitation was here, picking up garbage," said Mott Haven resident Michael Medina.
City officials say they spent about $350,000 to clean up the site, and will seek reimbursement from the property's owner.
"The city put up the money because it was a health hazard and we needed to fix it," said Deputy Mayor Edward Skyler. "We will try to get out cost reimbursed from the people who own this property.
We are trying to figure that out and that may end up in court."
Now residents want to keep the area clean and convince neighbors and strangers not to dump garbage there.