NYS Department of Transportation Highlights Benefits of Route 15 Bridge Project In Steuben County Final Phase Establishing New Interstate Between New York and Pennsylvania

August 2, 2012

New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Joan McDonald announced today that construction is underway on a $31 million project that will build six bridges on Route 15 in the Town of Lindley, Steuben County. This is the second and final phase of a project that will complete the final five-mile stretch of future Interstate 99, connecting Corning, N.Y., to Williamsport, Pa.

"Completing this link has been a high priority and will be a boon to economic development," NYSDOT Commissioner Joan McDonald said. "By constructing this highway to federal interstate standards, we will create an uninterrupted corridor for shipping and commerce between New York State and Pennsylvania, as well as boosting trade with Canada and shipping to points throughout the Mid-Atlantic and Southeast."

NYSDOT Assistant Commissioner Rod Sechrist and Acting Regional Director Brian Kelly joined with state and local officials this morning at the project site along the future interstate highway, to celebrate the start of this final phase of the project.

The bridge phase of this project will allow Route 15 to eventually convert to Interstate 99. When finished, the project will complete the final link in an 80-mile stretch of the future I-99 highway between I-86 in Corning and I-180 in Williamsport.

The six bridges to be constructed will span three local roads and three creeks to connect the new highway being built under the first phase of the project. Once completed, this five-mile stretch of Route 15 will meet interstate standards. NYSDOT plans include construction of a smaller project in 2013 that will make improvements on the remaining stretch of Route 15 between Corning and Presho to meet interstate standards.

The first phase is building a five-mile stretch of four-lane divided highway between Watson Creek Road to the hamlet of Presho, all within the Town of Lindley. This phase will be completed at the end of August 2012.

State Senator Tom O'Mara said, "This is truly exciting and long-awaited progress for the Southern Tier and the states of New York and Pennsylvania. Itís also a tribute to the dedication and perseverance of so many community leaders and residents over so many years, and weíve appreciated the steadfast commitment of DOT Region 6 to keep moving it forward. Once completed, I-99 will be a better, safer, less congested and more efficient roadway for those who travel it every day. It will represent a vital economic corridor between New York and Pennsylvania. We continue to be grateful for opportunities to mark the milestones on our way to enhancing one of Americaís outstanding interstate highway systems."

Assemblyman Phil Palmesano said, "I am grateful for the ongoing efforts of DOT Region 6 in staying committed to the completion of U.S. Route 15/future I-99. Also, I appreciate the dedication of all the local leaders and residents who have worked so long and so hard to see this project through to the end. The future I-99 corridor is such an important economic pipeline for the Southern Tier and is a vital connection to I-86. Moving to the next and last phase of I-99 construction will bring us the highway safety features we've long sought for this route."

Assemblyman Chris Friend said, "The future I-99 promises economic opportunities and motorist safety enhancements throughout the Southern Tier and Finger Lakes regions. Itís one of our most critical infrastructure improvement projects, and it positions our region at the hub of one of the most vital north-south corridors anywhere along the nationís interstate highway system. Iím grateful for the hard work of DOT Region 6 to get this job done."

The bridge phase of the project is expected to be completed in the summer of 2014. It was awarded to Cold Spring Construction of Akron, Erie County.