Local Leaders Address Safety And Other Issues At Thruway Exit 31 In Utica
Senator Joe Griffo, Assemblywoman Marianne Buttenchon and Oneida County Executive Anthony Picente met with officials from the State Thruway Authority and the DOT to address accessibility and safety issues at the Exit 31 Thruway exchange.
The three lawmakers raised concerns with the group of state officials, including Thruway Authority Executive Director Matt Driscoll.
They include the lack of parking and access to Park and Ride, access to the Oneida County Tourism building and emergency vehicle turnaround.
A left turn is currently not permitted at the site because of guardrails that were not there before the toll booths were removed.
Discussion revolved around how to make those parking lots and the tourism building accessible to people without having to get on and off the thruway to turn around.
State officials agreed to include additional signage for access points and new parking areas as well as further public communication on the changes to the exit.
"I thank Matthew Driscoll and the New York State Thruway Authority and the Department of Transportation for meeting with us to discuss the Exit 31 Thruway interchange in Utica. This meeting, for which we advocated, provided us with an important opportunity to discuss the Authority's most recent changes to the interchange, short-term solutions to address concerns we have raised and the long-term objective to reconstruct the entire interchange with the DOT," said Senator Griffo.
The long-term redesign of the Exit 31 interchange was also discussed by the group.
That process is already underway and is expected to take 18-24 months, with the initial planning RFP to be released before the end of 2021.