Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the designation of Route 15 as Interstate 99 between Corning, Steuben County, and the Pennsylvania border. The new expressway opened to traffic last fall following completion of $235 million in projects to construct the highway and bridges. The highway was built to federal interstate standards to allow this designation as Interstate 99.
Designating Route 15 as the new Interstate 99 is great news for communities and businesses throughout the Southern Tier and Upstate New York, Governor Cuomo said. By establishing an avenue for high speed transit between New York and neighboring destinations, we are making shipping and travel throughout the northeast easier and more efficient. This project will attract significant investments and economic activity from tourism and commerce, and I am proud to have helped move it forward.
This designation completes the final link in an 80-mile stretch of four lane expressway between I-86 in Corning and I-180 in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. The newly designated Interstate 99 segment in New York and the adjoining four lane expressway in Pennsylvania allow for an uninterrupted high speed corridor between the two states, making shipping easier between Canada and points north with the southeast and mid-Atlantic states.
New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) Commissioner Joan McDonald said, A project of this magnitude creates numerous jobs for people in the local community and provides a safe, modern highway to serve residents, visitors and businesses. Federal designation as Interstate 99 means that the new road meets the highest safety standards in the nation and will provide a gateway into New York for generations to come.
The $31.1 million final phase included building six bridges along Route 15 in the town of Lindley. The six bridges span three local roads and three creeks to connect the new highway portions built during the first phase of the project. The road was opened to traffic in October of 2013.
Prior work involved building a new five-mile stretch of four-lane divided highway between Watson Creek Road and the hamlet of Presho, all within the Town of Lindley. That work was completed at the end of August 2012.
Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chair and President of Corning Enterprises G. Thomas Tranter, Jr. said, The designation of US 15 as Interstate 99 is the final step in creating a gateway into the Southern Tier that will help drive economic development and tourism into the region. I want to thank Governor Cuomo for his leadership in bringing this project to completion.
Congressman Tom Reed said, This interstate project is a long-awaited and critical lifeline for the Southern Tier, connecting us with neighboring Pennsylvania and giving the Southern Tier a better, safer travel route. From our offices very first roundtable with regional highway commissioners, this infrastructure project was highlighted as a top priority and Im proud of all of the work that went into seeing this project through to the end. Everyone can be proud of this job-creating road project that gives New York State one of the most vital routes along the nations highway system.
State Senator Tom OMara said, This vital designation represents a long-awaited achievement for the Southern Tier and the states of New York and Pennsylvania. Its also a testament to the hard work, dedication and perseverance of so many community leaders and residents over many years. I-99 represents an exciting lifeline to future jobs and economic growth, and the north-south corridor we need to complement I-86."
Assemblyman Phil Palmesano said, The ongoing completion and designation of I-99 will create economic opportunities and enhance motorist safety throughout the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions. It puts our region at the hub of one of the most vital north-south corridors anywhere along the nations interstate highway system.
The construction contractor for the project was Cold Spring Construction of Akron, Erie County.