AASHTO Journal, 1 February 2013
An interstate reconstruction project in Westchester County was completed by the New York State Department of Transportation last month, allowing users of Interstate 287 to resume their normal commutes nine full months ahead of schedule.
The $568 million project, which had been experiencing delays for about a decade, had been broken into several phases. The last phase of the project was to reconstruct the Exit 8E interchange in order to improve safety and traffic flow, replace two bridges while constructing one new bridge, reconstruct exit ramps to allow for better access from I-287 to downtown White Plains and connections to neighboring Harrison, N.Y., all of which would keep local traffic separated from longer-distance travelers, which cut down on congestion and made all drivers safer. However, this final phase had also been pushed back.
In an effort to keep things moving the state completed an independent review of the project. That review concluded the project should be moved up from the initial completion date of August 2013, which is exactly what NYSDOT did, in order to save money and get traffic back to normal in the area. NYSDOT also credited the early completion to new reforms instituted throughout that state such as a requirement of monthly reviews for projects and performance to stay on schedule, the use of expert consultants to analyze project designs before work begins, the creation of a Capital Program Delivery Committee that scrutinizes the size and complexity of projects to make sure the best project managers and designers are used, and redesigning the funding process to better direct money to major projects.
“Governor Cuomo is making government work again, and work smartly and effectively for all New Yorkers,” said NYSDOT Commissioner Joan McDonald in a statement. “With the Governor’s leadership, the State Department of Transportation is transforming the way it manages the state’s infrastructure, ensuring that projects support safety, mobility, and the financial bottom line.”