BEMUS POINT, NY (WNY News Now) – An $82.7 million dollar project to fix Chautauqua County’s Interstate 86 bridge and finish a multi-modal highway improvement project broke ground Tuesday.
The Interstate 86 bridge over Chautauqua Lake itself is receiving $78 million dollars for necessary repairs.
The four bridge structures sprawling over Chautauqua Lake will be getting new surfaces and necessary repairs to promote safety, ease travel and help resist wear and tear.
The project will extend the lifespan of bridges by roughly 40 years by replacing and updating concrete bridge decks, bridge barriers, bearings and outdated steel parts over the course of four construction seasons.
“We’re here to announce a $78 million dollar bridge rehabilitation project on the Southern Tier Expressway,“ explained State Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez. “This is on top of the $4.7 million dollar highway improvement project that we are now nearing completion in Jamestown. So I know those of you that have been enduring some of the traffic delays in Jamestown, we’re coming close, we’re almost done. Give us until the end of the month, but it’ll be exciting.”
The multi-modal highway improvement project consists of merging four-lanes of traffic to three on Washington Street, allowing for the addition of a two-way left-turn lane.
Eleven traffic signs will be also replaced or repaired, and one new traffic light will be hung on West 6th Street at Whitley Avenue. Pedestrian safety has also been improved with the installation of new curb ramps, crosswalks, crosswalk signals, and new bicycle lanes.
Work on the bridge is expected to last for four construction seasons.