June 24, 2024
Albany, NY

Governor Hochul Announces Opening of New Ransom Road Bridge Over the NYS Thruway in Erie County

Governor Hochul Announces Opening of New Ransom Road Bridge Over the NYS Thruway in Erie County

Ransom Road Bridge Replacement is Part of $4 Million Project That Included Increased Vertical Clearance to Meet Industry Standard, Reconstructed Bridge Approaches, and Safety Upgrades

New Bridge Over I-90 Replaces Structure That Was Original to the Thruway System and More Than 70 Years Old
Project Completed on Time and Within Budget

On its 70th anniversary, Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the opening of the new Ransom Road bridge (milepost 411.6) over the New York State Thruway (I-90) in the towns of Clarence and Lancaster. The $4 million bridge replacement project, which started in August 2023, included several upgrades to enhance safety for motorists such as an increased vertical clearance from 14’1” to 16’5” and reconstructed approaches on both sides of the bridge. Approximately 4,000 motorists use the bridge daily.

“For 70 years, the State Thruway system has connected New Yorkers to their homes, workplaces and one another,” Governor Hochul said. “The new Ransom Road bridge builds on our investments in modernizing the Thruway system for the betterment of local residents and the millions who rely on it each year.”

The original Ransom Road bridge was built in 1953 and is one of 19 bridges included in the Authority’s 2024 Capital Program that are scheduled to be rehabilitated or replaced.

Oakgrove Construction, Inc. of Elma, NY was the contractor for the project. Work was completed on time and within budget.

Currently, there are more than $126.1 million in capital improvement projects underway within the Thruway Authority’s Buffalo Maintenance Division which runs from I-90 from Ontario County to the Pennsylvania border, as well as the Niagara Thruway (I-190) from the Thruway mainline to Niagara Falls. Over the next five years, the Thruway Authority’s Capital Program is projected to invest more than $420.1 million into the Western New York Region.

Thruway Authority Executive Director Frank G. Hoare said, “The 70-year-old New York State Thruway was one of the first interstate highways in the country, and from day one the Authority has been committed to providing motorists with safe and reliable roadway. The replacement of the Ransom Road bridge is just one of many Thruway Capital Projects underway, all working towards the upkeep and modernization of the Thruway system.”

State Senator Patrick M. Gallivan said, “Maintaining a safe and efficient highway system is critically important for residents, businesses and our economy. The new Ransom Road bridge will enhance safety for the thousands of drivers who cross it daily while also supporting local commerce and tourism. I thank the Thruway Authority and the governor for investing in this and other capital improvement projects in the Western New York region.”

Assemblymember Michael J. Norris said, “I am pleased to see the completion of this project. The Ransom Road overpass is highly utilized, and its repair is critical for improving safety for motorists in our community. Investing in infrastructure will continue to be one of my top priorities.”

70th Anniversary

On June 24, 1954, the first tolled section of the Thruway opened, a 115-mile stretch of I-90 between Lowell (West of exit 32 - Westmoreland) and Rochester (exit 46 - Henrietta).

To mark the Thruway Authority’s 70th anniversary, a special video commemorates the historic opening of the Thruway and service over the past 70 years. Additionally, the Authority has posted historic pictures looking back at opening day in June 1954 and the decades following.

The Governor Thomas E. Dewey Thruway, built in the early 1950s, is one of the oldest components of the National Interstate Highway System and one of the longest toll roads in the nation. It set the standard for modern highway geometric design with safe roadway characteristics including smooth curves, wide medians and unobstructed driver sight distance. To this day, the Thruway is consistently recognized as one of the safest highways in the country. In 2023, the Thruway-wide fatality rate 0.24 fatalities per 100 million vehicle miles traveled, compared to the 2023 nationwide projection of 1.24. nationwide. In addition, every capital project on the Thruway system is considered for safety upgrades which may include new guiderail, enhanced lane markings, new highway signs and delineators, wider travel lanes, and improved sight distance and clear right of ways.

The New York State Thruway is a user-fee supported system and supported almost entirely by toll revenue – not tax dollars. It is paid for by drivers who use the system, including almost one-third from out-of-state. Thruway toll rates remain among the lowest in the country compared to similar toll roads. The Thruway base passenger vehicle toll rate is $0.05 per mile, compared to the Ohio Turnpike ($0.06 per mile), the New Jersey Turnpike ($0.11 and $0.31 cents per mile) and the Pennsylvania Turnpike ($0.14 per mile).

The New York State Thruway is a 570-mile superhighway, with 817 bridges, 137 interchanges and 27 service areas connecting New York’s principal cities, rural areas and tourist destinations.

The mainline of the Thruway extends 426 miles, from New York City to Buffalo (I-87 and I-90). Other elements of the system include the New England Thruway (I-95), the Cross Westchester Expressway (I-287), the Garden State Parkway Connector, the Berkshire Connector (I-90), the Niagara Thruway (I-190), and the Erie Section (I-90).

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