Fulfills Governor's 2015 State of the State Pledge to Fund Transportation Enhancements Along State Route 26 in Jefferson County
Project Complements Previous Work, Including a New Bridge on Fort Drum and an Intersection Alignment
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that work is beginning on a $2.9 million project to enhance the intersection of U.S. Route 11 and State Route 26 near Fort Drum in Jefferson County. The project fulfills a pledge made by Governor Cuomo in his 2015 State of the State Address to fund transportation projects that enhance safety and ease traffic on Route 26 near Fort Drum.
"With this latest project on Route 26 now underway, New York State continues its longstanding commitment to making significant infrastructure investments that enhance the quality of life around Fort Drum for soldiers and their families, and the residents of Jefferson County," Governor Cuomo said. "Fort Drum is the largest economic engine in the North Country and this project, as well as preceding ones, are helping to ensure this important military base remains a fixture in the region."
Overseen by the State Department of Transportation, this new project will provide additional turning lanes at the intersection of U.S. Route 11 and State Route 26 and add a slip ramp onto State Route 26 for northbound traffic on U.S. Route 11. The slip ramp will service military and civilian traffic, as well as commercial traffic headed to Fort Drum. In addition, improvements to the signal will ease congestion and improve operational efficiency at the busy intersection. The project is expected to be complete by late summer 2019.
Fort Drum, home to the U.S. Army's 10th Mountain Division, is the largest employer in the North Country. New York State previously finished the Fort Drum Connector (I-781) to make the base more economically viable for the thousands of North Country residents rely on this base for economic stability.
Senator Patty Ritchie said, "Fort Drum is an integral part of the North Country, that's not only home to our nation's heroes, but also the economic driver of our region. Investments, like this, are critically important to the installation and its future, and I look forward to seeing how this project improves traffic flow, as well as safety for those going to and from the post."
Jefferson County Legislature Chairman Scott Gray said, "We certainly appreciate the governor's commitment to our infrastructure around Fort Drum that continually needs evaluating and upgrading to enhance traffic patterns for our local residents and Fort Drum personnel."
Building upon these efforts, as part of in his 2015 State of the State Opportunity Agenda, Governor Cuomo reiterated New York State's commitment to move forward with long-discussed improvements to Route 26 in and around Fort Drum.
The first project, completed two years ago, aligned the intersection of State Route 26 on Fort Drum and reconfigured the Route 26 intersection with Oneida and Ontario avenues to improve safety and reduce congestion.
The second project reconstructed approximately one mile of Nash Boulevard and erected a new bridge, connecting the airfield area of the base to the main cantonment area. The project enhanced transportation operations on Fort Drum by providing direct access between cantonment areas, in turn reducing congestion on State Route 26. In addition, the creation of a two-lane, multi-girder bridge over Route 26 now allows on-base traffic to pass from one side to the other without having to leave the base and again clear security upon re-entry.
The current project at the intersection of U.S. Route 11 and State Route 26 is the third such project, fulfilling the Governor's 2015 State of the State pledge to ease traffic along this corridor.