So, after warning people all weekend long, that construction would begin on the roundabout on the Columbia County side of the Rip Van Winkle Bridge, we wondered why nobody was there today.
Even though the message boards say otherwise.
We're told that prep work is being done this week, and no major delays are expected until late this week or next week.
State DOT did put out a press release today:
Department of Transportation Announces Construction to Begin On $4.5 Million Roundabout at Hudson River Skywalk in Columbia County
Pedestrian-Friendly Intersection to be Formed at Routes 9G and 23 in Greenport, Columbia County
Project Will Ease Traffic Flow and Link Rip Van Winkle Bridge to Olana State Historic Site
New Sidewalks and Parking Will Enhance Connection Between Olana and Neighboring Thomas Cole National Historic Site
New York State Department of Transportation Acting Commissioner Paul A. Karas today announced the start of a $4.5 million project that will convert the intersection of Routes 9G and 23 in the town of Greenport, Columbia County, into a pedestrian-friendly roundabout with parking and sidewalk access to the Hudson River Skywalk, a scenic pedestrian trail linking two historic sites across the Hudson River. Work on the intersection is set to begin this month.
“Governor Cuomo has prioritized tourism and transportation, and this project smartly combines both,” Acting Commissioner Karas said. “The new roundabout in Greenport will enhance opportunities for pedestrians and cyclists, strengthen the link between two nationally significant historic sites, and improve safety and mobility for the thousands who travel this interchange daily.”
The project will make it easier to access the Olana State Historic Site in Hudson, Columbia County, and the Thomas Cole National Historic Site in Catskill, Greene County. It will provide visitors with a parking area from which it will be easy to reach the Hudson River Skywalk, also improving pedestrian access to Olana and the east end of the Rip Van Winkle Bridge.
The new roundabout will reduce vehicle queuing and enhance traffic safety by reducing the number of conflict points at the intersection of Routes 9G and 23. It also will eliminate crossing maneuvers there and at the approach to the Rip Van Winkle Bridge between Columbia and Greene counties.
The project will create 25 parking spaces at the east side of the roundabout. Sidewalks from the parking lot will lead visitors to the northern entrance to Olana and to the Hudson River Skywalk. NYSDOT is partnering with the New York State Bridge Authority, Olana, and the Thomas Cole National Historic Site on this transportation and tourism initiative.
The roundabout and parking lot are scheduled to open this fall and the project will be substantially complete by the year’s end. Landscaping will be completed next spring.
This project is the third phase of a tourism initiative Governor Cuomo announced during this year’s State of the State address. Complementing it, the Governor earlier this year announced the creation of the Hudson River Skywalk Region with $225,000 in Market NY funds awarded to Thomas Cole National Historic Site in the 2017 Consolidated Funding Application awards through the Capital District Regional Economic Development Council. The Market NY funding award will help bring attention to this internationally significant destination through a coordinated advertising campaign, special exhibitions, coordinated visitor research and special events, including the Skywalk Arts Festival.
As part of the second phase of the initiative, the State Bridge Authority rebuilt the roughly one-mile-long sidewalk on the Rip Van Winkle Bridge, adding three scenic viewpoints, which provide unparalleled views of the Hudson River and Catskill Mountains.
As the latest construction gets underway, it is imperative that motorists remember to drive carefully in work zones, for their own safety and the safety of workers.
The New York State Department of Transportation recently produced a video on how to safely navigate a roundabout, which can be viewed here.
NYSDOT and the Governor’s Traffic Safety Committee recently unveiled a new public service announcement and social media campaign focused on the importance of respecting flagging personnel. This year’s work zone safety campaign, “Flaggers have families too,” is designed to remind motorists that flagging personnel are not attempting to disrupt traffic — they are simply doing their jobs and want to get home safely at the end of each work day. The PSA can be viewed here and here.
Motorists are reminded that fines are doubled for speeding in a work zone. In accordance with the Work Zone Safety Act of 2005, convictions of two or more speeding violations in a work zone could result in the suspension of an individual’s driver license.