Project Will Improve Safety and Efficiency of Travel Throughout the Region
Infrastructure Investments Complement "Finger Lakes Forward" Strategies – Governor Cuomo's Successful Upstate Revitalization Initiatives to Grow Regional Economies
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced construction is underway on a $14 million project to upgrade the junction of Route 531 and Route 36 along with modifications to nearby Route 31 in the towns of Ogden and Sweden in Monroe County. The project, which is expected to be completed by the end of 2018, is aimed at easing traffic flow and improving safety where the Route 531 expressway ends at Route 36.
"This reconstruction project is critical to the economic vitality of Monroe County and the success of the Finger Lakes Forward strategy," Governor Cuomo said. "By making significant improvements to roads connecting businesses and communities throughout the region, New York will continue to support the tourism, agricultural and manufacturing industries that continue to flourish across the entire region."
Upon completion, travel will be more efficient through the signalized intersection at Route 531 and Route 36 (Washington Street). A direct connection from Route 531 to Route 31 will be built just south of existing Route 31, along the eastbound on-ramp to Route 531. Route 531 will connect directly to Route 31 (Brockport-Spencerport Road) and will transition from a four lane expressway to a two-lane rural arterial west of Route 36.
Road improvements include:
- Widening Route 31 from the intersection of Route 531 to just east of Gallup Road;
- Adding a center median to separate the eastbound and westbound travel lanes;
- Transforming a portion of Route 31 between Route 531 and Route 36 into a cul-de-sac approximately 2,000 feet west of Route 36 to provide access to the residential homes located on the north side of Route 31; and
- Building a continuous two-way left turn lane on Route 31 from Gallup Road west towards Salmon Creek Road.
The project will be completed in two phases. The first phase, which is currently underway and will last through the summer, will take place at the interchange of Route 531 and Route 36. The Route 31 eastbound entrance ramp to Route 531 is closed during construction and a short section of Route 36 is closed between Route 531 and Colby Street while the highway is excavated and the hill is lowered. Traffic on Route 36 is detoured using Route 31, Route 259, Route 260 and Colby Street during the construction season.
The second phase, which will take place in 2018, will include reconstructing and widening the roadway from west of Salmon Creek Road to the existing Route 531 eastbound on-ramp along Route 31.
In keeping with Governor Cuomo's Drivers First Initiative to minimize construction impacts to the traveling public, early completion incentives and date restrictions have been incorporated into the project to keep traffic moving throughout the busy Route 31 corridor. Learn more about the highway project at www.dot.ny.gov/531.
New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Matthew J. Driscoll said "This project will improve the commute for thousands of motorists who travel between Rochester and the western part of Monroe County as well as Orleans County. The work will be extensive but, along with Governor Cuomo, we ask motorists to be patient and to drive cautiously through the work zone."
Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo said, "When it comes to building our local economy and creating jobs, a safe and efficient road system is the engine that drives our local economy by allowing residents and businesses to transport goods and services in and around Monroe County. The reconstruction of this section of RT-531 will go a long way to speed up transit and increase safety for travelers and visitors traveling in Monroe County and I am grateful to Governor Cuomo for his investment in local infrastructure."
Town of Ogden Supervisor Gay Lenhard said, "Improving roads across New York and developing new ways to access what the Finger Lakes region has to offer will have a positive impact on this community. I look forward to welcoming visitors to the region and supporting a more viable business community as these roads will better connect commuters and visitors to destinations in Monroe County and beyond."
Village of Brockport Mayor Margay Blackman said, "We are grateful to Governor Cuomo for recognizing the need in the Brockport area to upgrade and increase the safety of this heavily traveled route and thank him for this critical investment in our community."
Route 531 links Rochester and its interstates to Orleans County, supporting tourism, and the agricultural and manufacturing industries. The tourism industry in Orleans County includes sport fishing and historic villages dotted along the Erie Canal. A highlight of the agriculture and manufacturing industry is the first ethanol plant constructed in the northeast, which is located in Medina. The $90 million facility processes roughly 20 million bushels of corn into fuel grade ethanol, grains, and crude corn oil.
SUNY Brockport is also nearby and a significant employer noted by the Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council. It hosts the Small Business Development Center that has helped businesses invest more than $180 million in the regional economy, as well as a number of additional regional economic generator programs. It attracts thousands of faculty, students, staff and visitors.
Rochester Tech Park, situated adjacent to Route 531, is one of the largest multi-use complexes in the nation. With four million square feet of office, research, distribution, industrial and manufacturing space, its tenants include major national and multi-national companies.
Motorists are reminded that fines are doubled for speeding in work zones. In accordance with the Work Zone Safety Act of 2005, convictions of two or more speeding violations in a work zone could result in the suspension of an individual's driver's license.
For up-to-date travel information, call 511, visit www.511NY.org, or the mobile site at m.511ny.org.
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Accelerating Finger Lakes Forward
Today's announcement complements "Finger Lakes Forward," the region's comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The State has already invested more than $3.4 billion in the region since 2012 to lay the groundwork for the plan – investing in key industries, including photonics, agriculture and food production, and advanced manufacturing. Today, unemployment is down to the lowest levels since before the Great Recession; personal and corporate income taxes are down; and businesses are choosing places like Rochester, Batavia and Canandaigua as a destination to grow and invest in.
Now, the region is accelerating Finger Lakes Forward with a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, announced by Governor Cuomo in December 2015. The State’s $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion – and the region’s plan, as submitted, projects up to 8,200 new jobs. More information is available here.
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