By Nathan Mayberg
WURTSBORO July 16, 2004 The State Department of Transportation held an open house at the Town of Mamakating Hall in Wurtsboro Tuesday to allow the public a chance to review and comment on design alternatives for three interchanges along Route 17.
The alternatives for exits 112, 114 and 115 are part of a sweeping plan to turn Route 17 into Interstate 86 under the Transportation Equity Act of 1998. The bill, introduced by the late U.S. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, was intended to increase commerce in New York State. One of its goals was to turn Route 17 into Interstate 86 across the entire southern portion of the state.
Exit 114 at High View near Bloomingburg received the most attention due to the location of the interchange atop the Shawangunk Ridge and its four different options, according to state DOT Project Manager Peter Larson.
He estimated attendance Tuesday at about 80 people.
Alternative A would close the existing interchange and remove the westbound exit ramp to County Route 171.
Alternative B would construct a new bridge over New York State Route 17, create a new segment of roadway that connects the bridge to County Route 171 and build a new westbound entrance ramp with a longer radius of 1,600 feet.
The westbound exit ramp would be reconstructed, with an extension of the deceleration lane to 300 feet. Two new ramps would be created in the eastbound direction. The eastbound exit ramp would be in the shape of a loop. The eastbound entrance ramp would be semi direct. The new ramp would total 3,400 feet.
Alternative C would also construct a new bridge over Route 17, and a new roadway would connect the bridge to CR 171. The westbound exit ramp would be removed. Two new ramps in the westbound direction would be created. The westbound ramp would be 2,900 feet long. Two new ramps would also be constructed in the eastbound direction at a length of 2,400 feet.
Alternative D would create a new 1,800-foot westbound entrance ramp. The westbound exit ramp would be retained, with a deceleration ramp extension of 300 feet.
Larson said there was a lot of interest in the plans. He heard differing viewpoints from many people. He and his staff will review the publics input before beginning design.
Some of the concerns raised included environmental issues regarding construction effects on the Shawangunk Ridge.
A lot of people are sensitive about future development on the ridge, he said.
Issues were also raised by emergency services personnel, who want easy access to Route 17, he said.
Larson will be accepting written comments addressed to Peter Larson, Project Manager, NYSDOT Region 9, 44 Hawley Street, Binghamton, NY 13901.