DOT formally announces I-86, I-390 projects

By Stephen Borgna

CORNING | The state Department of Transportation (DOT) formally announced major rehabilitation work being conducted on weathered sections of Interstate 86 in Corning and Interstate 390 connecting Wayland and Cohocton during a press conference Tuesday.

“Construction of the roadway will greatly enhance economic development, because what it will do is it’ll help strengthen the commerce that moves in and out of the area in a section of roadway that really needs to get addressed,” DOT Commissioner Matthew Driscoll said.

The project on I-86 extends along a six-mile uneven section of highway from Exit 46 off Centerway to the Steuben/Chemung County line.

“This is an important announcement to improve our infrastructure,” said Assemblyman Phil Palmesano, R-Corning.

The renovation will cost $24,118,732.35 and include a new asphalt overlay, new guardrails, along with upgraded drainage and median-barrier replacements to comply with current safety standards.

A.L. Blade & Sons, under the Dolomite Group in Hornell, will conduct the work.

The I-390 project begins on Exit 3 in Wayland and extends approximately five-and-a-half miles along a rugged section of pavement to Exit 2 in Cohocton.

The $20,081,060.06 rehab will feature a new concrete overlay, repairs to two bridges at the Cohocton exits, and the installation of new concrete ducts – along with other safety improvements.

Cold Spring Construction in Akron will conduct the work.

“This is really a major project that will yield enormous benefits for the Southern Tier and I-86 specifically, because it is a significant freight and tourist route,” Driscoll said.

Both projects began June 20 and will finish in the fall of 2017. Work will mostly be conducted at night or during off-peak hours.

“We adhere to the governor’s ‘Drivers-First’ initiative, which seeks to lessen those impacts – negative impacts – on construction for motorists and for commercial traffic,” Driscoll said.

Crews will use a new balloon lighting system for working at night. The projects will be among the DOT’s first to utilize them.

“The system provides more-defuse, glare-free lighting to reduce risk to nighttime travelers, as well as the risk involved setting up those light towers,” Driscoll said.

The lights will also save the DOT $364,000 on the work.

Palmesano said he and his colleagues will continue to advocate for more funding and infrastructure improvements statewide.

“We’re going to continue to push for more infrastructure dollars because it’s the right thing to do,” he said.