Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the three-year, $99.7 million construction project to add an additional travel lane in each direction on the New York State Thruway between exits 23 (Albany, I-787) and 24 (Albany, I-87, I-90) the largest construction project in the Capital Region is now complete.
The completion of this project is great news for the people of the Capital Region who travel on this busy corridor every day, Governor Cuomo said. The expansion between exits 23 and 24 will reduce congestion and make traveling on the Thruway easier and safer. Furthermore, this project was completed on budget, serving taxpayers and putting drivers first.
This project shows the strides that the Thruway Authority has made over the past several years, said Thruway Authority Chairman Howard P. Milstein. I commend our staff and contractors for completing this project on budget, and for giving the people of the Capital Region a safer, more reliable commute.
Our goal at the Thruway is to give customers a safe and reliable travel experience, said Thruway Authority Executive Director Thomas J. Madison. This project was funded entirely through the Thruway Authority's toll-supported capital construction program and it was completed on budget. It's another great example of how customer tolls keep the Thruway among America's premiere superhighways.
The primary focus of the project was the complete removal of existing pavement some of it more than 55 years old and replacing it with three travel lanes of concrete in both the northbound and southbound corridors as well as two new shoulder lanes in each direction. The third lanes were built primarily in the existing median, which minimized the overall widening of the highway. The new lane configurations will help alleviate congestion in the heavily traveled corridor.
Several other additions and upgrades were implemented as part of this project, including: 12 water storage ponds were built to improve the corridors current storm water drainage system; 1.8 acres of new wetlands were constructed; and new trees and shrubs were planted to offset those affected by the construction, as well as the eight different segments of noise barriers that were constructed along the corridor.
One section is part of a pilot program which utilizes recycled rubber from scrap tires in the construction of noise barriers. The forgiving and flexible properties of the material help to prevent any cracking, movement, or deterioration due to ground vibration or movement and provide excellent weather durability due to the rubber polymer.
The Thruway Authority completed project design in late 2010, and the reconstruction project began in March 2011. Rifenburg Construction Inc. of Troy was the prime contractor. There may be occasional short-term lane closures in this section in the coming weeks as the contractor completes post-project clean up.
The project was conducted in accordance with the requirements of the Governors Drivers First Initiative, which prioritizes the convenience of motorists and ensures that disruptions are as minimal as possible for drivers at highway and bridge projects across the state.
Thruway travelers are encouraged to visit www.Thruway.ny.gov for real-time traffic updates.
Motorists can also sign up for TRANSAlert emails regarding thruway traffic conditions at http://www.thruway.ny.gov/tas/index.shtml or follow @ThruwayTraffic on Twitter.
To see an interactive map including Google traffic conditions for the Thruway and other roadways in New York State and beyond, go to: http://www.thruway.ny.gov/travelers/map/index.html?layer=traffic.