‘Monumental Investment’ New York Creating New Hudson Valley Highway
A long-awaited change is coming to the Hudson Valley. Officials say this change is vital to the "quality of life and well-being" of local residents.
On Wednesday, New York Gov. Kathy Hochul announced what her office called a "major milestone in the long-awaited conversion" of State Route 17 into Interstate 86 in Orange and Sullivan counties.
Hochul Announces Major Milestone on Transformative Conversion of State Route 17 into Interstate 86
Hochul confirmed work started on a Draft Environmental Impact Statement. The environmental impact study must be completed before officials can move ahead with the conversion of State Route 17 into Interstate 86.
"As we continue to improve our infrastructure across the Empire State, we are laser-focused on delivering smart projects like this monumental investment in the Mid-Hudson region that maximize impact on regional economies," Hochul said. "The Route 17 Draft Environmental Impact Statement kicks off this transformative project, which will enhance tourism, economic competitiveness and quality of life for residents and visitors alike. The Mid-Hudson region is a jewel of the New York State and with this project we are helping this region not only meet, but exceed its future potential."
'Historic' Conversion of Route 17 To I-86 in Orange, Sullivan Counties
The start of the environmental review comes after $1 billion was given to the project in the recently adopted State Capital, officials say. Public outreach is expected to begin in early 2023. will begin next year and up to one billion dollars.
A third lane will be added during the conversion.
"Converting State Route 17 in Orange and Sullivan counties to Interstate 86 will relieve road congestion and further fuel what has already been explosive growth in the region," Hochul's office stated.
Hudson Valley Coalition Rallies for Upgrades to Route 17
17-Forward-86 is a coalition that represents Hudson Valley residents.
"The proposed expansion of Route 17 will strengthen the region’s economy by improving access for tourists and businesses while enhancing commuter safety and reducing environmental damage from vehicular emissions caused by idling motorists. The expansion will also improve quality of life for residents who face increased traffic on side roads as a result of commuters trying to get around Route 17’s congestion," 17-Forward-86 states on its website.
According to 17-Forward-86, expanding Route 17 will strengthen the economy, increase the safety of drivers and help the environment by lessening vehicular emissions caused by idling motorists stuck in traffic on Route 17.
"The expansion will also improve quality of life for residents who face increased traffic on side roads as a result of commuters trying to get around Route 17’s congestion," 17-Forward-86 wrote on its website.
The coalition believes "expanding Route 17 is vital to (the) quality of life and the economic well-being of the Hudson Valley and Sullivan Catskills."