Project to Designate Portion of Route 17 to Interstate 86 in Future is Now Underway
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the $152 million second phase of the 1-81/Route 17 Prospect Mountain reconstruction project in the city of Binghamton has begun. The project, being made possible due to a significant investment included in the 2016-17 New York State Budget agreement, will replace bridges and reconfigure ramps to significantly improve traffic patterns in one of the Southern Tier's busiest travel and commerce corridors. These improvements also enable the New York State Department of Transportation to request federal designation of the four mile stretch of Route 17 to become I-86.
"The I-81/Route 17 interchange is a key part of the Southern Tier's transportation network that for far too long has been a frustration for motorists and an impediment to economic growth," Governor Cuomo said. "This project will not only improve the flow of traffic and make the road safer for drivers, but will also help open the region up to the rest of the state."
Work involves reconstructing nearly nine center lane miles of highway. Interchange 4 (Binghamton/Hillcrest) will be reconstructed at its juncture with Route 7, by replacing the viaduct bridge over the Norfolk-Southern Railroad tracks and Broad Avenue. Additionally, two new bridges will be constructed over the Chenango River in the city of Binghamton. This work will improve safety by correcting vehicle weaving and eliminating traffic bottlenecks by limiting merging traffic and lane changes. Work is expected to be complete by December 2020.
New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Matthew J. Driscoll said, "Reducing travel times and improving connectivity for commerce keeps this state competitive on the global market. Through a strategic investment from Governor Cuomo, we’re creating a transportation network which improves safety and supports a growing economy."
Senator Fred Akshar said, "Modern and safe infrastructure is a cornerstone of economic development and growth. I've referenced 'paving a path to prosperity for the Southern Tier' before, and the state is helping do that for our community - literally."
Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo said, "The Prospect Mountain Project was a major undertaking and I am pleased to see the second phase moving forward. This work is part of a commitment to the continued repair and reconstruction of local infrastructure that was reflected in the budget passed by the Legislature and Governor in April. I have been impressed by the work already done by DOT, and have no doubt this phase will take place with the same dedication."
Assemblyman Clifford W. Crouch said, "The reconfiguration of Interchange 4 supports the ultimate goal to improve operational and safety deficiencies. In addition to the recent investments in business growth and community development, an effective transportation infrastructure will also serve to increase the productivity and value of one of the busiest areas in the Southern Tier."
Broome County Executive Debbie Preston said, "We are thrilled to hear that phase two of the project is underway. This phase will not only see the reconstruction Exit 4, which is used by thousands of people each year, it’ll also improve the safety of one of the most traveled sections of road in Broome County. This is the next step in the process and we are excited that work is underway."
Binghamton Mayor Richard David said, Mayor David said, "This project will make it easier and safer to get around Binghamton and will bolster the Southern Tier’s economy. I thank Governor Cuomo and Commissioner Driscoll for their commitment to making this Prospect Mountain improvement project happen."
Phase 1 Prospect Mountain construction project began in 2012 and was completed on schedule at the end of December 2015. Work in Phase 1 included the construction of six new bridges, the construction of a new Prospect Street Interchange with on and off access to State Route 17 westbound. Work on the Prospect Street Interchange ramp included excavation along Prospect Mountain for which more than 117,000 cubic yards of earth and rock were removed and will be used as fill material in Prospect Mountain Phase II. A retaining wall, new drainage and a pump house were installed. New curbing, permanent barrier, new concrete pavement, traffic signals and overhead signs were also installed.
Accelerating Southern Tier Soaring
Today's announcement complements "Southern Tier Soaring the region's comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The State has already invested more than $3.1 billion in the region since 2012 to lay for groundwork for the plan – attracting a talented workforce, growing business and driving innovation. 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 Binghamton, Johnson City and Corning as a destination in which to grow and invest.
Now, the region is accelerating Southern Tier Soaring 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 10,200 new jobs. More information is available here.
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