UTICA — Crews have started work on a $16.6 million community-revitalization project along the Route 5S corridor (Oriskany Street) in Utica.
The project, which is part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s “Complete Streets” initiative, seeks to enhance “safety for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists along this busy corridor,” Cuomo’s office said in a news release.
The state expects crews to complete the effort in late 2020.
The project calls for “enhancing” accessibility for people with disabilities, realigning the roadway, reducing the number of driving lanes, constructing a roundabout at the intersection of Route 5S and John Street, and adding bicycle and pedestrian accommodations.
Extending 0.7 miles from Broadway to Broad Street, the project also will reconfigure intersections and shrink expansive ones to try to improve navigation.
All traffic signals will also be upgraded as the work continues, “improving visibility and easing traffic flow,” Cuomo’s office said.
The corridor will be landscaped with 11 varieties of trees and 250 shrubs, with more than 9,000 plantings in all. Among other improvements, crews will install park benches and bike racks, along with more than 100 lighting fixtures along the roadway and trails.
The goal of the project, when it’s complete, is to “calm” traffic, improve access to the community, and support the redevelopment of residential and commercial buildings, such as the Landmarc Building and the expansion of Utica College’s downtown campus, the state says.
Cuomo and local officials say the initiative will also “provide a more pedestrian-friendly environment to encourage increased foot traffic in the downtown area and help build upon local business efforts to revitalize the historic Bagg’s Square neighborhood.”