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For Immediate Release: 04/20/18
Contact: Office of Media Relations and Communications | (518) 471-5300 | public.info@thruway.ny.gov 

THRUWAY AUTHORITY ANNOUNCES ADDITIONAL MEASURES TO INCREASE ENVIORNMENTAL STEWARDSHIP DURING EARTH WEEK 2018

Thruway Authority Staff to Participate in Activities Such As Wildflower and Pollinator Plantings, Trash Pick-Up, Cleaning Stormwater Controls, Among Other Projects

Additional Year-Round Efforts to Include Planting Additional Living Snow Fences and Installing EV Charging Stations at All Service Areas and Thruway-Owned Park & Ride Lots

The New York State Thruway Authority today announced additional measures to increase environmental stewardship in honor of Earth Week 2018, April 16 – April 22. During Earth Week, Thruway staff will be participating in a variety of activities such as wildflower and pollinator plantings, cleaning permanent stormwater controls, trash pick-up and bridge deck sweeping, planting and repairing living snow fences, among many other projects.

“As a superhighway that connects each end of the state of New York, we strive to be good stewards of the environment by encouraging sustainability,” said Thruway Authority Executive Director Matthew J. Driscoll. “From our comprehensive recycling program at Service Areas, planting living snow fences and wildflowers, and much more, our goal is to continue to be one of the safest, reliable and green superhighways in the nation.”

Specifically in 2018, the Thruway Authority expects to plant a meadow of wildflowers in areas along a one mile stretch of I-87 in the Thruway’s Catskill Section. The area was the location of a safety-related rock removal and stabilization project where the Thruway reviewed opportunities to include replacement vegetation, where feasible.

Environmental Stewardship is one of the primary responsibilities of the Thruway Authority and incorporating it into all projects and activities is a strategic goal of the organization. A few of the many year-round efforts the travelling public may see include:

  • Comprehensive recycling program at each of our 27 Service Areas across the system.
  • Planting wildflowers and other plant materials to support pollinators.
  • Planting additional living snow fences and restoring/transplanting tree seedlings where required which helps to reduce drifting and blowing snow from reaching the roadway in winter months.
  • Storm drain stenciling which serves as a reminder to travelers that whatever goes in the storm drain ultimately makes its way to a waterway.

Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

In the future, the Thruway Authority anticipates having at least one electric vehicle charging station installed in all 27 Thruway Service Areas, as well as Thruway-operated Welcome Centers and Thruway-owned Park and Ride lots. In partnership with the New York Power Authority (NYPA), there are four Level 3 charging stations located in the lower Hudson Valley (Plattekill, Malden, Ulster and Modena Service Areas), as well as three Level 3 charging stations at the Mohawk Valley Welcome Center. These Level 3 stations allow EVs to be powered in approximately 30 minutes.

“Green” Service Areas

Furthermore, as Governor Cuomo announced in the 2018 State of the State Address, the Thruway Authority has issued a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) to reimagine and modernize Thruway service areas through a public-private partnership. Governor Cuomo proposes to make the service areas Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certified, install solar arrays and irrigation free landscaping, only furthering the Thruway’s green footprint. A Request for Proposal (RFP) will be issued later this year.

Cashless Tolling

Governor Cuomo also announced the Thruway will expand the benefits of cashless tolling at all toll collection points along the New York State Thruway by the end of 2020. Cashless tolling reduces congestion, improves traffic flow, and is better for the environment. In March 2018, the Grand Island Bridges became the Thruway Authority’s second cashless tolling location, joining the Governor Mario M. Cuomo Bridge.

Solar Highway Initiative

The Thruway Authority is proposing to build solar powered facilities that will allow the Authority to further New York’s renewable energy goals. The Thruway Authority partnered with the Department of Transportation on a competitive procurement process to select qualified providers to plan, design, construct, finance, operate, and maintain solar photovoltaic (“PV”) energy generating facilities. The Authority is proposing solar facilities at up to six locations across the Thruway system.

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