New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) Acting Commissioner Paul A. Karas announced that construction is underway on two projects in the Hudson Valley. The first project will install intelligent transportation system (ITS) equipment on roadways in the Hudson Valley, while the second will upgrade existing guide signs on I-84 from the Pennsylvania state line in Orange County to the Connecticut state line in Putnam County. These projects complement ongoing work on the I-84 corridor. Since 2013, the NYSDOT has invested more than $118 million in capital projects on Interstate 84, one of the most highly-traveled roadways in the Hudson Valley.
The ITS equipment is being installed on I-84 from the Pennsylvania State line to the Connecticut State line in Orange, Dutchess and Putnam counties; on I-684 northbound from Exit 2 (SR 120) in Westchester County to Exit 9 (I-84) in Putnam County; and on the southbound side of Sprain Brook Parkway between the Taconic State Parkway and the I-287 interchanges in village of Elmsford, Westchester County.
The I-84 sign upgrades will enhance safety by improving the visibility of the guide and exit signs, both in the daytime and nighttime, and the current consecutive exit numbers will be replaced with mile-based exit numbers, conforming to current national standards. The new exit numbers, will be based on the distance in miles moving from west to east from the Pennsylvania border to the Connecticut border. For example, the New York State Thruway (I-87) will be designated as Exit 36 instead of Exit 7, as the I-87 interchange is 36 miles east of the Pennsylvania state line.
Department of Transportation Acting Commissioner Paul A. Karas said, “With the addition the cutting-edge ITS technologies, coupled with sign upgrades on the Interstate, we are facilitating improved traffic control and safer options for the thousands of commuters, commercial vehicles and residents who utilize the roadway every day.”
Variable message signs, traffic monitoring cameras, queue detection and monitoring software, as well as closed-circuit television systems will give system operators and motorists up-to-date information about traffic and road conditions so they can quickly respond to emergencies and make faster, more informed travel decisions that will reduce congestion and improve safety.
The installed ITS equipment will be linked to the Hudson Valley Transportation Management Center (HVTMC) in Hawthorne, Westchester County, where staff will monitor and collect information on traffic conditions, quickly detect incidents and dispatch the proper response.
Presently, the HVTMC obtains information related to I-84 conditions through reports from NYSDOT highway patrols, state police and other emergency responders. Some ITS tools, such as CCTV and variable message signing are already in place on I-684 and the Sprain Brook Parkway, but additional devices will be added to monitor traffic conditions.
The new ITS technologies will complement and enhance the current systems in place on all three roadways, therefore providing emergency responders and NYSDOT workers with more reliable and constant real-time information on road conditions and traffic incidents along the highways. In turn, it will also support sending out advanced notice of congestion to motorists, allowing them to consider alternate routes or travel times and reducing the possibility of secondary accidents.
NYSDOT policy requires that CCTV systems not be used to collect personal identifier information.
Preparatory work on the I-84 sign upgrades, including tree trimming and sign foundation installation, is underway. However, the installation of the new sign panels, and removal of the old panels, is expected to begin in the spring of 2019. Construction and installation work on the ITS project is underway. Construction on both projects is expected to be completed by the end of the 2019 construction season. Construction and installation work may result in lane closures, which will be announced in advance.
This report is slightly edited from a press release issued by the NYSDOT.