WOODBURY, N.Y. – Construction on a $150 million road project aimed at mitigating traffic jams around Woodbury Common began on Wednesday, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
The new, streamlined design for the new Road, Transit and Economic Development Hub includes improved access to businesses, new park-and-ride services, and enhanced pedestrian and public transit facilities. The project will also improve safety, mobility and traffic patterns at the interchange adjacent to the Woodbury Common Premium Outlets area while providing the local community with better options for transportation.
Route 17 at Route 32 (Exit 131) will be reconfigured into a Diverging Diamond Interchange (DDI), which will simplify navigation for motorists and reduce accidents in the corridor.
The new configuration will allow traffic to freely make left and right hand turns with no opposing traffic, greatly increasing the efficiency of the corridor to handle traffic. It will also ease access to the New York State Thruway and Route 17.
"For too long, Hudson Valley residents have endured endless traffic headaches caused by the interchange at Woodbury Common, and now the state is taking action by developing a world-class transportation hub that will help alleviate congestion and improve traffic flow for residents and tourists alike," Cuomo said. "Across New York, we are making unprecedented investments in transportation infrastructure that will move our local economies forward, and this accelerated project will transform the region for years to come."
In addition, a new Monroe-Woodbury High School Drive Extension will be constructed expressly for local school bus traffic, connecting the high school with the elementary school and allowing school buses to more safely access many of their routes without ever having to access Nininger Road and Route 32.
The Thruway Authority will also convert the Harriman Toll Barrier to cashless tolling for northbound traffic seeking to access Woodbury Common and Route 17, as well as traffic seeking to travel south on the Thruway. For southbound traffic from the Thruway's ticketed portion of the system, two toll lanes would remain in place for motorists with E-ZPass or cash. The scheduled completion date is October 2018.
State officials say the cashless tolls and the new interchange at Woodbury Common could reduce traffic and accidents in the area by up to 50 percent.
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