NYS Route 17 (Interstate 86) Reconstruction - Hale Eddy
Hale Eddy, NY |NYSDOT
New York State (NYS) Route 17 runs from Lake Erie to the lower Hudson Valley and is the main east-west highway serving New York's Southern Tier counties. Currently, it is predominantly a limited access highway. This section, Hale Eddy to Hancock, of State Route 17 was built in the 1950's as a four lane divided highway with both partial and full access control.
The project is part of the planned conversion of NYS Route 17 to I-86 and includes elimination of at-grade intersections, non-standard horizontal and vertical geometrics, and driveway access. Alternatives being considered maintain a majority of the existing horizontal alignment to reduce right-of-way and environmental impacts. The alternatives will improve the horizontal and vertical geometry and vary by the number of interchanges, one or two, and the termini of the proposed local service roads. Improvements include shoulder reconstruction pavement rehabilitation and the inclusion of concrete median barrier.
This project includes preparation of an environmental impact statement (EIS) and design for the reconstruction of approximately 11.3 kilometers of a partial controlled access highway to full access controlled highway meeting interstate standards.
Environmental Studies including a Visual Impact Assessment, Wetland Delineation Report, Noise Study, Air Quality Study, Threatened and Endangered Species Report, and compensatory wetland mitigation plans will be prepared. The West Branch Delaware River is a nationally recognized trout fishery. Water quality impacts to the West Branch Delaware River, to the trout spawning waters that are tributaries to the West Branch Delaware River and impacts to the local community are the most sensitive issues to be addressed in the EIS. Innovative strategies are being developed to replace conventional storm drainage systems. Wildlife habitat assessment, timber rattlesnake habitat assessment and radio tracking, and stream characterization are also part of the environmental analysis.
An extensive study to identify potential locations to dispose of a very large amount of excess earthwork is part of the EIS preparation. This study investigated depressions, abandon quarry sites, steep slopes and other locations looking for large areas within an economical hauling distance where excavated earth could be placed without adverse environmental impacts.
The conversion of this section of State Route 17 to a fully controlled access facility will affect residents and businesses in the project area. All alternatives will change traffic patterns and will require the acquisition of some business and residential properties. The extent of these impacts will vary depending on the alternative selected. An extensive, ongoing public involvement process to address residents' special concerns including a steering committee, multiple public information meetings and a public hearing has been initiated and will continue throughout the design process.