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Albany Puts Brake On N/S Arterial Project For Preservation Review

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Utica, NY (WIBX) - The Utica North-South Arterial Viaduct Replacement Project has been put on hold by state officials in Albany. That’s according to a Department of Transportation official close to the project.

The construction calls for the replacement of the deteriorating bridge between Court Street and Oriskany Boulevard. The project is slated for an official ground breaking in 2013, but now, that plan has an uncertain future. DOT official, Anthony Ilacqua said, “All projects are being evaluated, any projects including the Utica North-South Arterial replacement projects that are beyond the scope of this preservation focus, are being carefully scrutinized and evaluated against all critical needs state-wide.”

Ilacqua  says he’s not sure when a final determination will come from Albany, on whether or not, all or part of the project will move forward. The project was submitted for approval as part of this regions 5 year capital improvement program. In the meantime, he says there’s still large support from residents and local officials for construction to move forward.

At issue is whether or not the state can find an alternative way to address the deteriorating bridge, by going through the preservation review process, rather than the overhaul approach that is currently planned. If given the green light, Ilacqua say the project will reduce the high number of accidents in the area, and improve access and mobility for motorists and pedestrians.

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