Twin Bridges work to stop earlier to prevent Sunday tourist backups
CAPITAL REGION Construction on the Twin Bridges will stop earlier each weekend to prevent a backlog of traffic on Sunday nights and Monday mornings.
As part of a Drivers First initiative, which was announced in a cabinet meeting Thursday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo promised to end the disruption and delays that have been caused on Sunday evening and Monday morning because of the ongoing $29 million deck replacement project. Weekend construction will continue to start at 10 p.m. on Fridays, but instead of ending early Monday morning, it will end at noon on Sundays.
"Our job is not to have people adjust to government, but to have government adjust to the people," Cuomo said in a statement. "Closing all but one lane in each direction of the Twin Bridges when thousands of drivers are returning downstate from weekend trips to the North Country is simply unacceptable."
As a result of this pledge, the governor has ordered the state's Department of Transportation to adjust the schedule of projects around the state to allow for the most convenient traffic patterns. Additionally, the DOT must now include in its primary criteria for awarding contracts a requirement that proposed schedules have as few disruptions to motorists as possible.
Since construction began on the Twin Bridges in early September, Cuomo noted that traffic has backed up for miles and caused major disruptions for people traveling between the North Country and lower parts of the state.
Cuomo added that the new construction schedule won't impact the project's cost.
The ongoing project on the Twin Bridges is closing the northbound bridge over the Mohawk River and reducing traffic to one lane in each direction on the southbound bridge. Lane reductions ahead of the full closing start at 8 p.m. Friday.
The work was to conclude in October but the completion date will be extended by the decreased work hours.
The same work is planned for the southbound bridge in the spring.