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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 14-38

May 13, 2014

CONTACT:

deppressoffice@dep.nyc.gov, (845) 334-7868

Department of Environmental Protection to Improve Traffic Safety in Hudson Valley Adjacent to Delaware Aqueduct Construction Site

Upgrades to Traffic Signals in Dutchess and Orange County will Improve Traffic Flow for Construction Vehicles, Commuters and Local Residents

The New York City Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) today announced that it will upgrade 11 traffic signals located on highways near the Delaware Aqueduct Bypass Tunnel project in Dutchess and Orange counties. The installation of new signals with advanced technology will improve the flow of traffic along highways that are heavily traveled and often congested during commuting hours. Work on the upgrades is expected to start by the end of spring and finish by mid-summer. In addition to the 11 existing signals, DEP will also install a temporary traffic signal at the entrance to the worksite on Route 9W in Newburgh, which is expected to be completed by the end of May.  DEP will fund the upgrades, which will cost an estimated $651,000, and will continue to work with the New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) to improve traffic signals at additional intersections.

“New York City wants to ensure that construction on the Delaware Aqueduct Bypass Tunnel proceeds with the least possible impact to local communities,” said DEP Commissioner Emily Lloyd. “The upgrade of local traffic signals will help construction vehicles move to and from our worksites more safely, and it will also improve driving conditions for local residents and commuters.”

“NYSDOT is pleased to partner with DEP in the upgrade of the 11 signals in the Hudson Valley,” said DOT Regional Director William Gorton. “The innovative adaptive technology upgrades planned for the signals in Orange and Dutchess counties will assist with monitoring traffic flow and allow for adjustments based on traffic demand resulting in improved traffic operations.”

“The upgrades to traffic signals along Route 9W and the Route 84 interchanges will greatly improve the flow of traffic in some of the most heavily traveled parts of Newburgh,” Town of Newburgh Supervisor Gil Piaquadio said. “This is another example of the sound planning and generosity that DEP has shown in our town.”

"For years, our residents have endured ever-increasing traffic volume on Route 9D,” Town of Wappinger Supervisor Barbara Gutzler said. “In Wappinger, we suffer at the intersections of State Route 9D and County Route 28, especially at rush hour.  Thanks to New York City DEP, in conjunction with the state DOT, we will see some relief at last with upgraded signals and improved traffic flow through Wappinger.”

In Dutchess County, traffic signals will be upgraded at the following intersections:

  • I-84 eastbound exit onto Route 9D
  • Route 9D and the north/south ramps to enter I-84
  • Route 9D and Red School House Road
  • Route 9D and Chelsea Road/Baxtertown Road
  • Route 9D and New Hamburg Road/Old Hopewell Road

In Orange County, traffic signals will be upgraded at the following intersections:

  • Four signals at Route 9W and the ramps that connect it to I-84
  • Route 9W and Fostertown Road
  • Route 9W and Carter Avenue

Of the 11 signals to be upgraded, seven will receive adaptive signal technology that uses a system of computers and cameras to adapt to traffic patterns in real time. For instance, if the system detects heavy traffic heading northbound, it can tell the signals at several intersections ahead to stay green, thereby letting the traffic flow more smoothly. More up-to-date controllers will be installed at the other four signals, which will allow their timing to be reprogrammed to better handle existing traffic patterns.

Work on the traffic signals is a component of the Delaware Aqueduct Bypass Tunnel, a $1 billion project to repair two leaking sections of the aqueduct by building a 2.5-mile-long bypass tunnel 600 feet below the Hudson River, from Newburgh to Wappinger. When it’s finished in 2022, the bypass tunnel will move drinking water around the largest leak, located in Newburgh. That section of the aqueduct will be taken out of service when the project is finished. A second, smaller leak in the Ulster County town of Wawarsing, will also be fixed by grouting. The Delaware Aqueduct carries more than half of the 1 billion gallons of high-quality drinking water used daily by residents of New York City and several dozen upstate communities. Repairing the Delaware Aqueduct is the central component of DEP’s $1.5 billion Water for the Future Program, which also includes upgrades to the Catskill Aqueduct and projects to reduce water consumption. More information about the bypass tunnel and associated projects can be found by clicking here.

DEP manages New York City’s water supply, providing more than one billion gallons of high quality water each day to more than 9 million New Yorkers. This includes more than 70 upstate communities and institutions in Ulster, Orange, Putnam and Westchester counties who consume an average of 110 million total gallons of drinking water daily from New York City’s water supply system. This water comes from the Catskill, Delaware, and Croton watersheds that extend more than 125 miles from the City, and the system comprises 19 reservoirs, three controlled lakes, and numerous tunnels and aqueducts. DEP has nearly 6,000 employees, including almost 1,000 scientists, engineers, surveyors, watershed maintainers and other professionals in the upstate watershed. In addition to its $70 million payroll and $157 million in annual taxes paid in upstate counties, DEP has invested more than $1.5 billion in watershed protection programs—including partnership organizations such as the Catskill Watershed Corporation and the Watershed Agricultural Council—that support sustainable farming practices, environmentally sensitive economic development, and local economic opportunity. In addition, DEP has a robust capital program with nearly $14 billion in investments planned over the next 10 years that will create up to 3,000 construction-related jobs per year. For more information, visit nyc.gov/dep, like us on Facebook at facebook.com/nycwater, or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/nycwater.

More Information

NYC Department of Environmental Protection
Public Affairs

59-17 Junction Boulevard
19th Floor
Flushing, NY 11373

(718) 595-6600