WATERTOWN, NY — State Department of Transportation Acting Commissioner Paul A. Karas today announced that work is getting underway on a $6.1 million project that will pave nine miles of Interstate 81 in northern Jefferson County.
The project, scheduled for completion late this summer, will extend from Exit 49 in the Town of Orleans to Exit 52 in the Town of Alexandria. This stretch of highway services the 1,000 Islands region and provides access to Wellesley Island and Canada, as well as the future home of the North Country Welcome Center.
“Governor Cuomo has made transportation a priority across the North Country,” NYSDOT Acting Commissioner Paul A. Karas said. “This paving project – one of many being done across New York State this summer – will improve access to the 1,000 Islands while helping to support regional mobility and economic growth.”
Other highway improvements will include the installation of new guiderail along the entire project length and audible roadway delineators along the edges of the highway. Both will enhance safety along the route.
Senator Patty Ritchie said, “This stretch of I-81 in the North Country is not only a key piece of roadway for our local commerce and tourism industry, it is also a gateway to our region and New York State for our Canadian neighbors. Projects like this not only help keep motorists safe, they also help to strengthen our economy. I look forward to seeing just how much this project enhances our region.”
Assemblywoman Addie Jenne said, “It’s imperative that we have a wonderful welcoming area for tourists visiting our region. Well maintained roads help set the tone. This is an important year for our businesses on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River after the struggles posed by last year’s high water levels, and the paving project will be another sign that our region is open for business this summer.”
Project work will require periodic shoulder and lane closures along I-81. They will be announced through travel advisories and social media posts.
Paving work keeps New York’s highways in a state of good repair, and this investment delays the need for more costly, in depth repairs down the road. The repair and modernization of our state’s transportation infrastructure improves safety and ensures that state and local communities remain economically competitive.
Motorists are reminded that fines are doubled for speeding in a work zone. In accordance with the Work Zone Safety Act of 2005, convictions of two or more speeding violations in a work zone could result in the suspension of an individual’s driver’s license.
For real-time travel information, call 511, visit www.511NY.org, or log on to the mobile site at m.511ny.org.
NY State DOT news release May 10, 2018