Wednesday, January 16, 2019

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Woodbury interchange project advances

Project rendering   Click to open larger view in separate window

CENTRAL VALLEY – New York State Department of Transportation officials told members of the public Tuesday evening that the Woodbury Transit and Economic Development Hub project, colloquially known as the Route 17 interchange project, is halfway through its construction and will increase left-turn traffic efficiency by about double.

During a public information session, state officials said they are confident this design, initiated by Yonkers Construction Company HNTB and Hudson Valley Engineering will mitigate traffic issues local residents and commuters have had for some time, as well as keep local traffic on Route 32 to a minimum.

This marks the second segment of a $150 million project, with this portion comprised mostly of construction and operational costs, giving the segment an estimated cost of $134 million.

Both segments of the project have been totally funded through the state and federal governments. They will represent approximately 60 workers in the off-season and 150 in the summer.

As this is a design-build project, private companies compete for the RFP, with only the most efficient and environmentally friendly proposals being accepted. This design-build, currently under construction, emphasizes a divergent diamond design.

Regional DOT Hudson Valley Construction Engineer Scott Giger explained the utility of the design, and said it not only is innovative, but was also the best fit for the gateway to Route 17.

“Traffic that typically opposes each other now crosses over, so that the left-turn moves are now unopposed,” said Giger. “So, all left-turn signals are now unopposed and they don’t have to stop for the signals. That’s essentially the benefit of the diverging diamond.”

The design also includes integer access, which is the portion that will decrease local traffic and increase efficiency through Woodbury Common.

This area of the Route 17 interchange has been an issue for local travelers for some time, being one of the focal points of many legislative/stakeholder discussions, especially with the influx of economic development in the county that will bring even more travelers. DOT Chief Engineer Whid Albert said the governor was keen to get this project done and make it a priority in light of this.

“It needed to get done,” said Albert. “It’s a tremendous project for the area to improve traffic. Woodbury Commons, here, is a fantastic, premiere shopping place and the traffic congestion was unacceptable anymore, so this project is going to tremendously improve the traffic around the Woodbury Commons area and for the rest of the community.”

However, it’s not only Woodbury Common and local traffic that needs to be addressed. The project is designed to handle the influx of traffic from the Resorts World Catskills and the upcoming Legoland New York.            

State officials say they are on track for a completion of the project by the end of 2019 and apologize for the current inconvenience to commuters, due to the current construction on the project. Any members of the public wishing to reach out on the matter are encouraged to contact via www.exit131ny.com.

 


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