Work Begins This Month on Important Albany Connector Route
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that a $22.4 million project to rehabilitate the South Mall Expressway in downtown Albany will begin later this month. The South Mall Expressway connects Interstate 787, the Dunn Memorial Bridge, the Empire State Plaza and downtown Albany neighborhoods.
“The South Mall Expressway is critically important to the Capital Region’s economy and transportation network,” Governor Cuomo said. “These crucial repairs will be done with as little disruption to drivers as possible, and they’ll ultimately ensure the Expressway remains in good use for years to come.”
Work on the South Mall Expressway, which carries approximately 21,000 vehicles each day, will occur from I-787 to inside the tunnels underneath the Empire State Plaza. The project will include replacing the concrete driving surface of the four bridges that carry the expressway over 787 and city streets. Work will also involve structural repairs to the bridges, including joint and bearing replacements. Repairs to the pavement leading into the tunnel, work on the connecting ramps and bridge painting and steel repairs are also included in this project.
Construction will occur in stages, with inbound (westbound) work scheduled for 2016 and outbound (eastbound) work scheduled for 2017.
The project is scheduled to be completed by fall 2018. Work in 2018 will be performed primarily underneath the bridge, such as painting and repairs to bridge bearings and steel, and is not expected to impact expressway traffic. Photos of the South Mall Expressway are available here.
Consistent with Governor Cuomo’s Driver’s First initiative, the project has been designed to minimize impacts to expressway traffic. Work that will most affect travel lanes has been scheduled for summer months, when traffic volumes are lower.
New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Matthew J. Driscoll said, “Governor Cuomo knows that New York State’s infrastructure is in need of repair, and this investment in the South Mall Expressway is part of his commitment to providing New Yorkers with safe and reliable roads and bridges. This work is important to keep the South Mall Expressway in good shape for the thousands of motorists who use it — commuters, residents, those who do business with government and visitors to the Capitol, the Empire State Plaza and Albany’s attractions.”
Office of General Services Commissioner RoAnn Destito said, “The South Mall Expressway is a vital piece of infrastructure in New York State’s capital city, and Governor Cuomo’s investment in these roadway improvements are essential for the safety of everyone who travels on these roads, ramps, and bridges each day. For motorists who use the expressway to get to and from work, it’s also important to note the schedule for this project has been designed to minimize impacts on rush-hour traffic.”
Senator Neil Breslin said, "Having a well maintained transportation network is an essential element to a thriving economy. Rehabilitating this important connector route will both improve traffic flow while ensuring the safety of our motorists."
Assemblywoman Patricia A. Fahy said, "The South Mall Expressway has been a critical transportation link here in Downtown Albany for over 50 years and Governor Cuomo’s investment in rehabilitating this connector roadway is to be commended.”
Assemblyman John T. McDonald III said, “I am pleased to see an investment in this heavily traveled roadway that leads to state government. This is yet another example of the investment in our well established infrastructure that we rely on day in and day out.”
Albany County Executive Daniel P. McCoy said, “I am pleased that Governor Cuomo and the DOT recognize the importance of investing in our infrastructure, especially as it relates to the South Mall Expressway. This roadway serves as the gateway to the capital complex and Albany and needs to be maintained.”
Construction now through April 1 will involve single lane closures to occur after the morning rush hours, with most work occurring underneath the expressway.
From April until the end of June, work will occur on the inbound lanes from the Dunn Memorial Bridge to the ramps leading from 787. Between July 5 and Labor Day, work will also occur from the inbound 787 ramps to the expressway over Grand Street (at the Times Union Center). The work stages were designed to minimize impacts during the legislative session when traffic volumes are highest. All other work on the inbound expressway to the tunnel into the plaza will be done during non-peak hours and weekends.
Also this summer, the westbound off-ramp to South Pearl Street will be closed for up to 21 days with a detour; the exact dates will be announced well in advance of the closure.
In 2017, work will take place on outbound lanes, with varying single lane closures. Work in summer 2017 will necessitate a 30-day closure of the eastbound on-ramp from South Pearl Street with a detour for motorists.
Periodic removal of parking spaces directly underneath the expressway will occur throughout the project.
Project information is available at the project website www.dot.ny.gov/display/projects/southmallexpressway. Travel information is available via 511NY by calling 511 or visiting www.511NY.org or our mobile site at m.511ny.org.
Follow New York State DOT on Twitter: @NYSDOT. Find us on Facebook at facebook.com/NYSDOT. For tweets from New York State DOT Region 1 (covering the Capital Region), follow @NYSDOTAlbany.
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