July 19, 2017
Albany, NY

Governor Cuomo Announces Second Phase of Construction Nearly Complete on $17.8 Million Route 281 Project in Cortland County

TOP Governor Cuomo Announces Second Phase of...

Project Improves 1.4 Miles of Heavily Traveled Road and Replaces Bridge Over Dry Creek


Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced substantial work is complete as part of Phase II of the $17.8 million infrastructure project to widen and reconstruct a 1.4 mile portion of New York State Route 281 in the town of Cortlandville and the city of Cortland. This multi-faceted project encompassed significant heavy highway construction, coordination with utility companies, and the addition of large-scale drainage systems.

"This reconstruction project alleviates traffic on a busy stretch of highway, while providing significant traffic safety improvements for both motorists and pedestrians," Governor Cuomo said. "Investing in infrastructure improvements across the state, benefits residents and travelers alike, as well as paving the way for future growth."

This second phase of construction, which spanned from Luker Road to Fisher Avenue, continued improvements previously made to the road during Phase I in 2008 and 2009. Completed work includes widening and reconstructing a 1.4 mile portion of Route 281 in the most commercially-developed portion of the corridor, which also takes motorists traveling from I-81 through Cortland into Ithaca.  This newly-widened portion of road adds extra turning lanes and double lanes to make it easier for motorists to travel within city and town limits. The project will be complete once landscaping work and smaller planting projects are finished.

The bridge over Dry Creek was also replaced under this phase of work with lanes and shoulders matching those on the approaches. The project also included the installation of a closed drainage system with the addition of two retention ponds, intersection improvements including the replacement of five traffic signals, and additional sidewalks along both sides of Route 281.

"This project further enhances the ability to move goods and services in Cortland County while improving mobility for drivers and pedestrians," said New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Matthew J. Driscoll. "New York roads and bridges are a pathway to economic development opportunities, and this project enhances the quality of life for the people in Cortland County who depend on this road every day."

Senator James L. Seward said, "A sound infrastructure is crucial to public safety and economic growth. This highway improvement project will mean a great deal to those who live and work in Cortland County and travel Route281 on a daily basis.  I appreciate Governor Cuomo and the Department of Transportation recognizing the importance of this work for the future of Cortland County."

Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton said, "I'm sure commuters and residents alike will join me in breathing a sigh of relief that Phase II of this massive infrastructure project has now been completed. This important project has been in the works for some time, and it will significantly improve traffic flow along Route 281 and replace a bridge. At a time when bridges and roads are crumbling all over the country, I want to thank Governor Cuomo for continuing to make responsible infrastructure improvements in New York State."

Cortland County Legislative Chair Donnell Boyden said, "On behalf of Cortland County, I want to thank New York State and Governor Cuomo for their leadership and continued support of the reconstruction of Route 281. This corridor is part of our critical infrastructure and is key to the expansion of local business and commerce in Cortland County. Further, the Legislature wishes to congratulate local contractor Economy Paving for their excellent work on this project that not only improved our community but created local jobs as well."

City of Cortland Mayor Brian Tobin said, "I want to thank Governor Cuomo and State DOT for working to accommodate the needs of our City's residents with the completion of this project. I'm very impressed and pleased with the relief in traffic congestion, the timeliness of the project and the minimal disruption it caused."

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Contact the Governor's Press Office