A roughly two-mile stretch of I-684 that has needed repaving for nearly 20 years will finally have that work completed this fall.
State and local officials announced at a gathering in Katonah last Thursday that the $13 million project will see the roadway resurface on both the northbound and southbound sides between Harris Road and Exit 6 in Bedford along with various other safety improvements.
Residents who live in the area have been angered for years by the extreme noise generated by vehicles traveling at highway speeds over the concrete pavement surface, prompting the start of a petition drive a few years ago in an attempt to convince policy makers to address the issue.
Motorists who use that stretch of I-684 have also complained of a rough ride and damage to tires. Ambulances have avoided the highway because the vehicles bounce too much, putting patients en route to the hospital in danger, officials said.
“From the time I was elected (to the Senate) until now, I have found a tremendous amount of outpouring of not only complaints but a sense that we must have this done, to find a way to get this two-mile stretch of concrete redone,” said state Sen. Shelley Mayer (D-Yonkers), who represents
Prep work has already begun, said state Department of Transportation (DOT) Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez. Most of the work is expected to be done at night with road and ramp closures between 9 p.m. and 5 a.m.
There will be detour signs posted on the highway along with electronic message boards informing drivers how to navigate the area during those hours.
Dominguez said new fiber-reinforced asphalt overlay will be used, which is a stronger and longer-lasting material, to replace the existing concrete pavement surface on the highway and the access and exit ramps to exits 5 and 6. The project also calls for replacing guiderails, repairing traffic signal loops, cleaning and altering drainage structures and repairing basins, she said.
In addition to reducing noise and enhancing safety, the commissioner said the project will help the area’s economic development by creating jobs. The state has invested about $170 million in the I-684 corridor over the last 20 years, including $71.3 million just in the last two years, Dominguez said.
“This project is just another example of continued commitment to this county and work that is ongoing all over the state to build, rebuild, maintain and preserve the infrastructure,” Dominguez said.
On hand for the announcement was state Senate Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins (D-Yonkers) who said that infrastructure is one of the most important items that the state could undertake. Mayer said that she pored our spreadsheets during the last session to find the money to get the work done.
While the project has been needed for close to two decades, the Senate had failed to provide the appropriate amount of funding for most of that time.
“We’re in the business of getting things done and making sure that things that have been stalled for too long for no good reason get moved,” Stewart-Cousins declared.
Assemblyman David Buchwald (D-White Plains), whose district includes the stretch of highway, lauded Mayer and Stewart-Cousins for their dogged pursuit of the funds.
“This project will mean a smoother, quieter and, most importantly, safer ride for tens of thousands of motorists every day,” Buchwald said.
Bedford Supervisor Christopher Burdick said town officials and their residents were fed up with the delays. The concrete surface has been the same for the past 50 years, except for patching.
“I’m delighted that this project will go way beyond a temporary fix,” he said.
Katonah resident John Fry, one of the people responsible for the petition drive, said the work is badly overdue.
“It’s just incredible that the whole 684, from White Plains to Brewster, has been resurfaced except this old 50-year-old surface here where the most people live, where the real estate values are most impacted,” Fry said.
The estimated completion of the work is late fall.
Martin has more than 30 years experience covering local news in Westchester and Putnam counties, including a frequent focus on zoning and planning issues. He has been editor-in-chief of The Examiner since its inception in 2007. Read more from Martin’s editor-author bio here. Read Martin’s archived work here: https://www.theexaminernews.com/author/martin-wilbur2007/