$78 Million to Rehabilitate Interstate 86 Bridges Over Chautauqua Lake to Begin
$4.7 Million Highway Improvement Project in the City of Jamestown Wrapping Up
Governor Kathy Hochul today highlighted $82.7 million in infrastructure investments for Chautauqua County, which includes the start of a major bridge rehabilitation project and the substantial completion of a multi-modal highway improvement project. A $78 million project is getting underway to rehabilitate the bridges carrying Interstate 86 - which is also known as the Southern Tier Expressway - over Chautauqua Lake in the towns of Ellery and North Harmony in Chautauqua County. Additionally, a $4.7 million project is substantially complete, rehabilitating State Route 430, Washington Street, from 2nd Street to Fluvanna Avenue, and State Route 394, Fairmount Avenue, from McDaniel Avenue to Fairmount Avenue/6th Street in the city of Jamestown in Chautauqua County.
"To ensure that our communities and our economy in all regions of the state continue to grow and prosper, New York State is making investments to strengthen and harden our infrastructure to meet and exceed the challenges of the 21st Century," Governor Hochul said. "Chautauquae Lake, with its natural beauty and abundance of local attractions, is one of the premier destinations for visitors to Western New York, while the City of Jamestown continues to attract new residents and visitors every year. These two projects in Chautauqua County are the latest examples of our targeted investments that will enhance both resiliency and sustainability in Western New York."
Interstate 86 Bridges
The four bridge structures going over Chautauqua Lake will receive new road surfaces and other repairs to enhance safety, ease travel and improve resiliency along this this vital corridor linking the Southern Tier region of New York to northwestern Pennsylvania. The project will extend the service life of the bridges, which were built in the early 1980's, by approximately 40 years. The bridges are located along the western segment of Interstate 86 that follows the corridor of the original State Route 17, extending from Pennsylvania to across the Southern Tier of New York, serving such key cities as Jamestown, Salamanca, Olean, Corningand Elmira.
As part of the project, the 3,790-foot-long main bridge crossing Chautauqua Lake and two, 500-foot-long bridge structures that split off the eastern end of the main bridge, and carry the eastbound and westbound lanes of traffic will receive new concrete bridge decks, bridge barriers, bearings and steel repairs. These three structures total 24 spans. A fourth bridge structure that carries westbound I-86 ramps to State Route 430 will also receive new bridge joints and will be resurfaced.
Work on the project will progress over four construction seasons, with initial work focusing on the creation of crossover lanes to move traffic during future project phases. One lane of traffic in each direction of I-86 will be maintained throughout the bulk of the project, however, motorists should be prepared for some overnight closures of the highway in 2024 and 2025 to facilitate the pouring of the new bridge decks. During this time, nighttime traffic will be accommodated using off-site detours. The project is expected to be complete in the fall of 2026.
The Jamestown project, which will be substantially complete by the end of June, implemented a road diet along Washington Street which includes converting four-lanes to three-lanes of traffic on Washington Street from Fluvanna Avenue to West Second Street. This allows for the installation of a two-way left-turn lane. New bicycle lanes, separated by a buffer from vehicular traffic, will go along both sides of Washington Street.
A road diet typically involves transforming a road by reducing the lanes on a road in each direction, coupled with a variety of enhancements that could include sidewalks, bike lanes, bus lanes or parking lanes. Traditionally these are low-cost projects that could be as simple as restriping the road, reducing speed and increasing mobility and accessibility while enhancing safety for all users.
Both Washington Street and Fairmount Avenue were resurfaced, coupled with drainage improvements.
In addition, eleven traffic signs along Washington Street and Fluvanna Avenue will be replaced or modified, and one new traffic signal will be installed on West 6th Street at Whitley Avenue. Pedestrian facilities were upgraded by installing new curb ramps and crosswalks, and new pedestrian signals with countdown timers will be installed.
State Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez said, "Governor Kathy Hochul is making vital investments in New York's transportation infrastructure to better support local economies. Chautauqua Lake is a gem that every New Yorker should have the pleasure of experiencing, and this project will help ensure that visitors can get from one end of the lake to the other to enjoy all that this natural wonder has to offer. And DOT's work to rehabilitate Washington Street and Fluvanna Avenue will certainly contribute to the continued revitalization of Jamestown and will provide greater accessibility for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists in the downtown area."
Jamestown was named a Round 1 winner of the Downtown Revitalization Initiative for Western New York in 2016. A renewed commitment by the city and numerous public and private partners to revitalize Jamestown has resulted in key investments downtown, including the National Comedy Center and several major mixed-use buildings. These initiatives primed the downtown for a range of new investment and the DRI leveraged this potential to create a truly inclusive, year-round downtown for both current and future residents and visitors. With over 100 buildings comprising a core 30-block area, downtown Jamestown has the second largest development footprint of any downtown in Western New York. Under the DRI, Jamestown has focused on streetscape improvements, redevelopment of historic buildings, and riverfront redevelopment.
New York Secretary of State Robert J. Rodriguez said, "Upgrading and enhancing the transportation infrastructure is an indispensable foundation for a sustainable community revitalization. The investments in downtown Jamestown will create a more walkable, people-friendly streetscape that complements and bolsters the existing Downtown Revitalization Initiative investments and contributes to the city's burgeoning downtown. We thank DOT for being such an integral partner in New York's downtown revitalization renaissance."
State Senator George M. Borrello said, "Today's announcement is great news for Chautauqua County and all of Western New York. Safe roads and bridges are essential to protecting the public and supporting the small businesses and farms that drive our economy. From my time as a county legislator to my service in the State Senate, one of the issues I have been most vocal about is the need to increase spending to improve and maintain our roads, bridges and highways. This investment in Chautauqua County's roads and bridges will strengthen our infrastructure and support the economic renaissance already underway in our community. Every region, every neighborhood deserves an equal opportunity to thrive and that's what this funding will do. I want to thank Gov. Hochul and DOT Commissioner Dominguez for recognizing the need to support the traveling public and communities in Western New York."
Chautauqua County Executive PJ Wendel said, "The Interstate 86 bridge over Chautauqua Lake is a vital thoroughfare for Chautauqua County and the region as a whole; both for the economy and public safety. The New York State Department of Transportation's project will help maintain a safe roadway for years to come."
Jamestown Mayor Eddie Sundquist said, "I welcome Commissioner Dominguez to the Jamestown area and thank the NYSDOT for their hard work on the Washington Street and Fairmount Avenue projects. These projects will not only improve the quality of the roads but also make Jamestown safer by reducing the number of lanes and more multi-modal with the additions of bike lanes. I look forward to continued collaboration with Commissioner Dominguez and the NYSDOT within Jamestown."
Motorists are urged to slow down and drive responsibly in work zones. Fines are doubled for speeding in a work zone. Convictions of two or more speeding violations in a work zone could result in the suspension of an individual's driver license.
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