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2nd phase of State Fair’s orange lot project wraps up

By Eric Reinhardt


Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Sept. 15 announced that the second phase of the access project to the State Fair’s orange lot is now finished. It includes a new eastbound ramp to Interstate 690, which will eliminate the need for a temporary traffic signal while the New York State Fair is in progress. (PHOTO CREDIT: OFFICE OF GOV. ANDREW CUOMO)

GEDDES — Crews have completed construction on the second phase of the New York State Fair orange lot project. 

The effort was about “improving access to the State Fairgrounds and furthering the transformation of one of Central New York’s economic engines,” the office of Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a Sept. 15 news release. 

As part of the project, the New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) constructed a new Interstate 690 (I-690) eastbound on-ramp bridge, ensuring that a temporary traffic signal on the highway will not be required during future events at the State Fairgrounds. 

The new I-690 eastbound on-ramp bridge also accommodates pedestrians with a 10-foot wide pedestrian walkway that will help “ease the journey” to and from the orange lot, the state contends.

“The completion of the orange lot ramp solves a major challenge for us and our transportation partners and will help greatly with the flow of traffic out of our largest parking lot,” New York State Fair Director Troy Waffner said in a release.

About the project 

Construction on the $27 million first phase of the State Fair’s 65-acre orange lot project began in October 2017 and the DOT completed the project in time for the 2018 New York State Fair. 

The first phase created more than 7,000 parking spaces in the orange lot, up from the 4,000 to 5,000 that were available on the previous dirt surface. A new exit ramp to I-690 West from the western end of the orange lot also allowed fairgoers direct access to I-690 from the State Fair and the Onondaga County-owned amphitheater. 

Prior to the opening of this ramp, vehicles could only exit the orange lot from the Exit 7 area of I-690 during events scheduled outside of the Fair. 

The second phase of the $11.18 million State Fair access improvement project took the first phase “a step further.” In addition to the new eastbound ramp, the project negated the need for a temporary traffic signal that is in operation on I-690 for the New York State Fair every year.            

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