Improvements will Enhance Traffic Safety and Accessibility, Create a New Gateway to the City and Support Commerce and Economic Growth
Renderings Available Here
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that work has begun on a $16.6 million community revitalization project along the Route 5S corridor (Oriskany Street) in Utica. The project, which promotes the Governor's Complete Streets initiative, enhances safety for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists along this busy corridor. Operational and physical improvements include traffic-calming measures that will create an inviting and attractive new gateway to the Bagg's Square neighborhood, which encompasses the central business district along Genesee Street and the historic Union Station.
"Upgrading the Route 5S corridor will enhance a major entrance to Utica and its neighborhoods, while improving safety for all travelers," Governor Cuomo said. "We will continue to invest in improvement projects like this, helping to rejuvenate communities, support local businesses and make New York an even better place to live, work and raise a family."
The project -- scheduled for completion in late 2020 -- calls for enhancing accessibility for people with disabilities, realigning the roadway, reducing the number of driving lanes, constructing a roundabout at the intersection of Route 5S and John Street, and adding bicycle and pedestrian accommodations. Extending 0.7 miles from Broadway to Broad Street, the project also will reconfigure intersections and shrink expansive ones to make them easier to navigate. All traffic signals will be upgraded, improving visibility and easing traffic flow.
The corridor also will be extensively landscaped with 11 varieties of trees and 250 shrubs, with more than 9,000 plantings in total. Among other improvements, park benches and bike racks will be installed, as well as more than 100 lighting fixtures along the roadway and trails.
Once completed, the project will calm traffic, improve access to the community and support the redevelopment of residential and commercial buildings, such as the historic Landmarc Building and the expansion of Utica College's downtown campus. Enhancements will beautify the corridor and provide a more pedestrian-friendly environment to encourage increased foot traffic in the downtown area and help build upon local business efforts to revitalize the historic Bagg's Square neighborhood.
New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Paul A. Karas said, "Governor Cuomo knows that sound transportation supports healthy communities. Improving Route 5S is another smart investment that will promote mobility while also creating jobs, supporting economic development and enhancing the quality of life."
Governor Cuomo signed a law in 2011 requiring state and local transportation agencies to consider "Complete Streets" designs to make streets and roadways across the state safe and accessible to all New Yorkers.
"Complete Streets" principles facilitate improved joint use of roadways by all users -- including pedestrians, motorists, and bicyclists -- as well as promote a cleaner, greener transportation system with reduced traffic congestion and the resultant air pollution. Design features may include sidewalks, bicycle lanes, crosswalks, pedestrian control signalization, bus pull outs, curb cuts, raised crosswalks, ramps, and traffic calming measures.
Senator Joseph Griffo said, "It is important that we continue to improve outdated and unsafe thoroughfares by making needed safety enhancements so that motorists, pedestrians and others can more safely and easily travel through the city and region. It is important that we invest money into our region to improve the conditions of our roads and streets. With better roads comes the prospect of new opportunities because improving our infrastructure is a key component of economic development."
Assemblyman Anthony Brindisi said, "Utica is transforming, and one of the major reasons for it is the modernization of our transportation infrastructure. Route 5-S has been the major east-west thoroughfare through Utica for many years, but it is outdated. Reconfiguring this highway so that it is safe for motorists and pedestrians will be a significant change that will also improve the appearance of the area—much like the renovations to the North-South Arterial have done. I want to thank Governor Cuomo for all he is doing to improve transportation in the Mohawk Valley region."
Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. said, "The Route 5S project will improve the efficiency and safety of one of the most heavily- traveled areas in the heart of the City of Utica. Along with the nearly-completed North-South Arterial project, the navigation of our county seat is being completely transformed and will go a long way toward enhancing the major economic development and improvements that are occurring in the downtown corridor. I thank Governor Cuomo for the funding that will make this great project happen and I look forward to its completion."
Motorists are reminded that fines are doubled for speeding in a work zone. 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.