Legoland is coming to Upstate New York, and with the opening of the new theme park, comes – you guessed it – traffic.
An increased 3,500 cars are expected to travel the already congested Route 17 each day. In order to accommodate the increased volume, construction of a new exit, at Exit 25 in Goshen will be built prior to winter 2019. The $50 million expansion will be completed at the expense of Merlin Entertainment, the parent company of Legoland. However, they will receive a $10 million assist from Empire State Development.
“Everything that’s done on Route 17 has to meet federal standards for interstate highways and facilitate its future designation as I-86,” said Todd Westhuis the DOT’s regional director in the Hudson Valley. “This project will not only do that, but also deal with longstanding issues at Exit 125 and 124. So we’re very excited to see it done.”
The project includes building a bridge over Harriman Drive, moving the existing exit 125 half a mile, and widening Route 17 to three lanes between exits 125 and 124.
This is not the only construction taking place on Route 17. In addition, the area between Harriman and Goshen will see two more projects beginning in spring the 2018. The first will be the Harriman Toll Plaza getting upgraded to all electronic tolling. Concurrently, Exit 131, Woodbury Commons, will be seeing a new configuration overseen by the Department of Transportation.
The construction schedules of the three projects, taking place along a 13 mile stretch of the same highway are anticipated to last from one to two years. The construction schedules are expected to be coordinated to reduce traffic snarls and closures. It has also been announced that no construction will take place on Fridays, allowing motorists to drive Upstate for the weekends.
Legoland is expected to open in the spring of 2020, to the delight of children everywhere in the Tri-State region.