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Study launched on Utica Thruway exit and surrounding roads

Exit 31 Study

UTICA, N.Y. — The Herkimer Oneida County Transportation Council (HOCTC) is launching a study and website to improve the connectivity and safety of the I-90 Exit 31 interchange and surrounding roadway network, Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. announced.

HOCTC will also host a public meeting on the topic from 5-7 p.m. on Tuesday, June 18 in the Saranac Room of the Double Tree by Hilton, at 102 Lafayette St. in Utica.

“Exit 31 is the gateway into North Utica, downtown Utica, and the surrounding Mohawk Valley region,” Picente said in a press release. “This major interchange serves a unique blend of retail, commercial, light industrial, freight, entertainment, recreation, and residential uses and is crucial to our local and regional connectivity. Conducting this study will allow us to develop design alternatives focused on improving that connectivity, addressing safety issues, and promoting economic development.


HOCTC will undertake the I-90 Exit 31 Planning and Environmental Linkages (PEL) study in partnership with the New York State Department of Transportation Region 2 and a technical advisory group of federal, state, regional, and local transportation experts.

The study will be developed through a collaborative planning process to clearly identify safety issues and develop proposed solutions that will lay the foundation for a future redesign of the exit interchange and surrounding roads.

The public is encouraged to attend the June 18 meeting to learn more about the study and provide input to help the project team better understand how the exit and surrounding roads are currently accessed by the community, existing safety issues, and opportunities for improvement.

The new website is up and running at It provides information about the study, an interactive map that allows the public to identify safety issues and opportunities for improvement, and an online comment form. HOCTC will also announce upcoming public events and opportunities for public input on the website.

“Public input is essential to the I-90 Exit 31 PEL Study and will play a central role in the identification of safety and connectivity issues and proposed improvements,” Oneida County Planning Commissioner James Genovese said. “Several other opportunities will be made available for the public to participate in the planning process throughout 2024 and into 2025.”

The HOCTC expects to complete the draft study report by the spring of 2025. Following public review and comment, the study recommendations and report will be finalized by the summer of 2025. The study will also inform the environmental review for one or more future projects being progressed under the National Environmental Policy Act process. Funding for the study comes from the federal FHWA Planning & FHWA Statewide Planning and Research funds through HOCTC.

HOCTC is the metropolitan planning organization for both counties and shares responsibility with the state to develop cooperative transportation plans and programs for the two-county area. HOCTC also provides a forum for the identification of transportation needs by area residents and organizations.



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