Improved Drainage System Will Fortify Vital Roadway Serving Finger Lakes Region Against Severe Weather
Investment Complements "Southern Tier Soaring" - The Region's Comprehensive Strategy to Revitalize Communities and Grow the Economy
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the start of construction on a $12.2 million project to improve resiliency along State Route 54A in the Town of Urbana just north of the Village of Hammondsport, Steuben County. The project will install new drainage and other enhancements to bolster the roadway's ability to withstand heavy rains and help prevent the travel disruptions that have previously occurred on this vital roadway during instances of severe weather. State Route 54A runs along the west side of Keuka Lake and provides access to many popular destinations in the Finger Lakes Region.
"With climate change ushering in ever-more frequent severe weather events, we need to ensure our vital infrastructure is ready to withstand whatever Mother Nature has in store for us," Governor Hochul said. "This investment along State Route 54A in Steuben County will help reduce the road closures and other travel headaches that have become all-too common on this key roadway."
State Route 54A traverses a steep embankment along the west shore of Keuka Lake and during times of severe weather has been prone to slope failures and other hazards that have impacted travel. The project, which is being funded by a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) as a Pre-Disaster Mitigation grant along with State funds, will install a 5-mile-long, closed drainage system that utilizes catch basins and corrugated lateral pipes to improve stormwater runoff and surface flows into Keuka Lake. It will also intercept groundwater in advance of the roadway, which will help fortify slope stability. New curbing will also be added to help with stormwater flows and the roadway will be repaved with a fresh layer of asphalt, smoothing travel for motorists.
This project is slated to be completed by summer 2025. Given the constraints of the roadway, motorists should expect localized work zones with a single-lane closure at the immediate site of the work. It is anticipated that crews will begin at the south end of State Route 54A and move north over the course of the season. This work zone will be removed during the winter months.
Full closures of the roadway at certain locations may be necessary as part of site-specific slope repair work. These full closures will take place outside of the busiest summer months. Notice of these full closures and associated detours will be shared when a schedule is finalized.
State Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez said, "Governor Hochul is committed to ensuring our upstate communities receive the investments that they deserve to make our transportation infrastructure more resilient and this project along Keuka Lake is proof of that commitment. The Department of Transportation is excited to begin this important work and to help ensure that current and future generations of New Yorkers can continue visit this beautiful and vibrant region of the state regardless of the weather."
Senator Chuck Schumer said, "State Route 54A is a vital roadway for millions of Upstate NY residents traveling between the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions to visit the scenic waterfronts of Keuka Lake, but its location along a steep embankment and lack of drainage has created serious hazards that put traveled at risk during heavy rain and severe weather. I am proud to have helped deliver the critical federal funding to fortify this roadway against heavy rains and slope failures, improving its resiliency for years to come."
Steuben County Manager Jack Wheeler said, "Steuben County thanks the Governor and New York State Department of Transportation for funding this important project. We have witnessed multiple flash flood events over the past decade plus that that have impacted State Route 54A, resulting in property damage and travel disruptions. This needed investment will better protect Keuka Lake, our homeowners, and our many visitors."
Accelerating Southern Tier Soaring
Today's announcement complements "Southern Tier Soaring," the region's comprehensive strategy to generate robust economic growth and community development. The regionally designed plan focuses on attracting a talented workforce, growing business and driving innovation. More information is available here.