I think a couple of before-and-afters tell the story as well as a pile of words. First, looking west from 2nd Street SE
on Feb. 3, 2005, and then today, Feb. 8, 2016:
And here's a few more shots, because I'm a crazy woman. Note that the sidewalks on the south and west sides of the Park Chelsea
are now open, meaning that you can now walk on the east side of New Jersey north of I--at least until you get to the fences that mark the Agora/Whole Foods
project, at which point you'd need to cross back to the west.
And now I at last will be able to photograph the intersections of 2nd and I and New Jersey and I without having to walk down to K and back up to I. And bike to Southwest without having to do the same down-and-back.
I would note, though, that pedestrians and cyclists need to be veeeeeery careful at this intersection--I saw a lot of confusion this morning, and of course the continuing construction right up to the property line at 82 I
adds to the difficulties.