Planned Phase II Route 281 Expansion Includes Wider Roadway and Sidewalks
With the next phase of the Route 281 expansion project planned for next year, D-O-T officials says some of the final details of when the work may begin, actual project cost, and what properties may be impacted by the construction are still being finalized.
Last month State Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton announced that Phase II of the Route 281 expansion is moving forward next year.
The announcement took regional D-O-T representatives by surprise; the project had been delayed since 2010 and wasn’t expected to go forward until at least 2017.
According to final design plans filed in 2005 phase II of the project will see the road reconstructed and widened from Luker Road to just north of Fisher Avenue, in the Town of Cortlandville.
The project calls for two travel lanes in each direction and a two way center turn lane from Luker Road to West Main Street.
At West Main the road will narrow to one travel lane in each direction with dedicated turn lane in the middle which will stop at Fischer Ave.
The the bridge over Dry Creek near Kinney Gulf Road will be replaced, the Cannon Pools and Spas building will be torn down along with the Hess Gas station canopy.
The 2005 plan calls for sidewalks on the east side of the road from Luker Road to West Main. A section of sidewalk would be added on the west side of the highway from Kinney Gulf to Commons Avenue.
The wider highway would push into front of St. Mary’s Cemetery and other properties on the West side of the roadway.
Several trees and brush along Bellvue Ave. would be removed and the wider roadway would be located closer to homes in that area.
The project includes a redesign of the Route 222, Groton Avenue, & 281 intersection with additional turn lanes. The Madison Street intersection would see upgrades as well.
Two new storm water retention basins would be added one near Blue Creek Road and another near Fischer Ave.
The 2005 final design report lists a project cost of $17.4 million, but that cost does not include land acquisition.
Representatives with the D-O-T say $7 million has been budgeted for land acquisition with $15 million budgeted for construction; however the D-O-T’s website has a project cost $14.7 million.
There has been some confusion between the Assemblywoman’s office and representitves of the State D-O-T. The Assemblywoman asserts that the project is moving ahead next year, but the D-O-T website shows the current project status as in Development. The website say bid opening is expected to be in Summer 2020, with construction in the Fall of 2020 and completion in Fall 2022.
Phase III the project would see the highway widened from Fischer Ave to the I-81 on ramp in Homer.