Reconstruction between Interchanges 23 and 24
Frequently Asked Questions
- How many vehicles utilize Interchanges 23 and 24 on an annual basis?
- How can I obtain more information about the study?
- Is the addition of a third lane between Interchange 23 and 24 essential?
- Can a third lane be constructed without disrupting traffic?
- Will the project result in increased traffic volumes?
- Will noise barriers be constructed as part of the project?
- When will the projects be constructed?
- Will additional lanes be special use lanes such as HOV lanes, trucks only lanes, or express lanes?
- What options will be considered instead of adding lanes?
- What impact will the project have on regional air quality?
How many vehicles utilize Interchanges 23 and 24 on an annual basis?
In 2009, more than 9.77 million vehicles utilized Interchange 23, and more than 26 million vehicles utilized Interchange 24. These figures represent total entering and exiting traffic.
How can I obtain more information about the project?
Visiting the project web site is the best way to keep current on the project. The site will be updated on a regular basis.
Is the addition of a third lane between Interchange 23 and 24 essential?
Traffic between Interchanges 23 and 24 continues to grow. Traffic analyses indicate that the northbound direction operates at unacceptable Level of Service (LOS) and the southbound direction will experience unacceptable LOS by 2008. If additional capacity is not provided, frequent breakdowns in traffic flows will continue to increase and longer delays will be experienced. The Draft Environmental Impact (DEIS) statement evaluated six alternatives, including doing nothing, and determined that the most cost effective method to reduce delay and provide acceptable LOS is by adding a third lane.
Can a third lane be constructed without disrupting traffic?
To a certain extent, construction of a third lane can be conducted with minimal disruption to traffic. Two lanes of traffic will be maintained in each direction during construction. One option is to widen one direction of the highway to accommodate four lanes of traffic (two in each direction). This will allow for the complete reconstruction of the opposite direction of the highway.
Will the project result in increased traffic volumes?
Traffic analysis conducted by the Capital District Transportation Committee (CDTC) indicated that the Interchange 23 to 24 widening would not increase traffic volumes on any section of the Thruway (a minor increase was shown, but this increase was considered to be negligible given the accuracy of the model).
Will noise barriers be constructed as part of the project?
A noise study has been completed to assess the potential traffic and construction noise impacts resulting from the proposed reconstruction and mobility improvements between Interchange 23 and 24. The study indicates that noise barriers will be reasonable and feasible to mitigate noise impacts at 10 locations, pursuant to Federal and State noise policy.
When will the projects be constructed?
The Authority plans to let the project in late 2010. Construction is expected to begin during the Spring of 2011; the project is slated for completion during the Summer of 2013.
Will additional lanes be special use lanes such as HOV lanes, trucks only lanes, or express lanes?
No, the additional lanes will be unrestricted. Although managed lane/managed service was evaluated, this alternative was dismissed as not meeting the project objectives.
What options were considered instead of adding lanes?
The following six alternatives have been investigated for this project.
- No action / Maintenance alternative
- Reconstruction with Temporary Third Lane
- Reconstruction with Permanent Third Lane
- Managed Lane / Managed Service
- Transportation Systems Management (TSM) / Travel Demand Management (TDM)
Reconstruction with Permanent Third Lane is the only feasible alternative which meets all the project objectives.
What impact will the project have on regional air quality?
The proposed project is included in the regional Transportation Improvement Program (TIP). Based on a regional air quality analysis, the Capital District Transportation Committee (CDTC) has determined that the projects included in the TIP would conform to the requirements of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990 and the State Implementation Plan (SIP). The conformity findings were submitted to the FHWA, and subsequently approved on September 30, 2005. Thus, it has been determined that the proposed project would meet conformity requirements.