Project Will Improve Safety and Traffic Flow and Reduce Noise in High Volume Area of I-90
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a $6.7 million project on the New York State Thruway (I-90) in Cheektowaga. The auxiliary lane extension and noise barrier wall project will improve safety and traffic flow in a historically high-volume area with an average of 116,800 vehicles every day. This project is scheduled to be completed in the fall of 2017.
"These improvements will provide an improved, streamlined and less congested experience for the thousands of motorists in Western New York who rely on the Thruway," Governor Cuomo said. "In line with our Drivers First Initiative, the project will minimize disruptions to traffic and ensure maximum safety and efficiency during construction.”
Thruway Authority Acting Executive Director Bill Finch said, “The Thruway Authority is dedicated to ensuring that toll dollars are reinvested wisely into our infrastructure, and this project in Cheektowaga reflects that commitment. Extending the auxiliary lane on the Thruway between exits 51 and 50A will help to alleviate the congestion that this area has seen in recent years, and will create smoother traffic flow for residents and visitors alike.”
Preliminary work began earlier this month with the removal of shrubs and trees along the Thruway property line between exits 51 and 50A. The project will require daytime and overnight work on the Thruway in both directions between exit 51 (Buffalo-Airport-NY Route 33) and exit 50A (Cleveland Drive Eastbound Exit-Westbound Entry) this fall. The project will eliminate the existing “lane drop,” which forces traffic to merge left and then merge back right if they are exiting to Cleveland Drive or I-290 westbound, and construct a new auxiliary lane and on-ramp. Along with road improvements, motorists can expect to see a new wooden noise barrier fence that will run eastbound and westbound between exits 51 and 50A.
Senator Tim Kennedy said, "This project will ease congestion, while providing relief for nearby residents with the installation of a noise barrier wall. This is a win for drivers, and a win for local residents in Cheektowaga, and I want to thank Governor Cuomo and the Thruway Authority for their attention to this busy section of the Thruway. This is just one more example of New York State's continued commitment to infrastructure maintenance and improvement."
Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz said, "Improvements to our infrastructure continue all across Erie County and this project is another that will improve experiences for both motorists and residents. This wise investment will improve quality of life for Cheektowaga residents near the Thruway and will help to ease drivers’ commutes as well."
Cheektowaga Supervisor Diane Benczkowski said, “I applaud the New York State Thruway Authority for installing a noise barrier along both sides of the I-90 between Route 33 and Cleveland Drive. The I-90 is a major gateway into Cheektowaga and the Buffalo metro area, but we need to ensure that the quality of life for those residents living along the Thruway is taken into consideration as well. With this project, drivers on the I-90 will receive much needed relief from congestion and residents living next to the Thruway will receive the peace of mind that they deserve. This is a win-win for all involved.”
The New York State Thruway Authority follows federal and state noise analysis and abatement regulations and policy, and as such, the lane extension portion of this project required analysis of traffic noise. A public outreach meeting was held in February of 2016 to obtain the feedback of residents who would benefit from a noise barrier, and the majority of those residents supported the installation of a noise barrier in the proposed area.
The project will be completed in accordance with the requirements of Governor Cuomo’s Drivers First Initiative, which prioritizes the convenience of motorists and ensures that disruptions are kept at a minimum for drivers during highway and bridge projects across the state.
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