SCHUYLER COUNTY, N.Y. (WETM) – Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced work has been completed on a $7.2 million project to resurface and improve State Route 14 from the Village of Watkins Glen to the Town of Reading in Schuyler County.
The paving and infrastructure improvements build upon a $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative award previously awarded to the village.
“Watkins Glen is one of New York State’s most popular destinations and these important investments will promote even more tourism and make it easier for residents and visitors alike to experience all that the village and surrounding area have to offer,” Governor Cuomo said. “Whether they come to see NASCAR, take in the breathtaking scenery or explore the region’s wine trails, visitors will not be disappointed.”
The project resurfaced 15.8 lane miles of road along State Route 14 from the Village of Reading to the Village of Watkins Glen, as well as installed new sidewalks and traffic signals with accessible, pedestrian push buttons throughout the village.
A gateway entrance to Watkins Glen was created on the northern end of the village that includes raised islands in the median that calm traffic and slow vehicles, enhancing safety for bicyclists and pedestrians. In coordination with funding from the DRI Initiative, the project also included installation of foundations for new decorative lighting along Main Street and preparations for a new welcome sign at the northern end of the village.
To promote the village’s auto racing history, pedestrian crosswalks were painted in a checkered flag pattern and historical information signs were placed along the original road course used for the first Watkins Glen Grand Prix race held in 1948. Colored paver blocks with embedded monuments commemorating race car drivers from Watkins Glen International races of the past were also placed along both sides of State Route 14.
Additional improvements made as part of the project include new drinking fountains, pet drinking stations, and pedestrian destination markers. A tourist bus drop-off area was established at the harbor near Captain Bill’s, which is popular for Seneca Lake cruises.
The Downtown Revitalization Initiative grants include:
- Year-Round Recreation Improvements at Clute Park – $2,017,428 (design is underway)
- East 4th Street Improvements for Pedestrians and Cyclists, and Connection between Downtown and Clute Park – $1,034,565 (design to begin in near future)
- Lafayette Park Upgrades Including New Lighting, Equipment, and Landscaping – $276,047 (design to begin in near future)
- New Gateway and Wayfinding Signage – $644,875 (design to begin in near future)
- Updates of Watkins Glen Performing Arts Center – $250,000
- 2016 grant for $1,091,500 to prepare regional strategic economic development plan (underway) and new Clute Park Bathhouse (design underway)
- DRI funds ($1,500,000) paid for new lighting along Franklin Street (Rt. 14) tied to the NYSDOT road reconstruction.