Sunday is the big day for NASCAR fans and the Schuyler County Sheriff Office has been hard at work preparing for the big race. With the grandstand nearly sold out, the department has been finalizing their security and traffic plans for the weekend.
During large events like this, the department has different ways to monitor and stay ahead of potential threats. This includes watching over social media posts, so far everything has been quirt. Numerous departments from neighboring counties, along with their tactical units, will be on site throughout the weekend.
Undersheriff Breck Spaulding says “we utilize twenty-four different agencies, we have mutual aid agreements, we put them into effect. I have over a hundred different officers that are participating and helping us out this weekend.”
Spaulding reminds the public that if they notice anything suspicious during this weekend to notify authorities so they are able to stay ahead of it.
The sheriffs department also released a traffic advisory for Sunday.
The department is expecting a large volume of traffic on County Road 16, due to the large influx of cars going to the race. Due to this traffic flow on County Road 16 will be one-way traffic, with three lanes of traffic going from State Route 414 to Gate 2 of the Race Track, and two lanes of traffic from Townsend Road to Kuhl Winner Way. There will still be one lane of traffic from Bronson Hill Road to Townsend Road.
This will start at around 6:00 a.m. and last until 3:00 p.m. At 9:00 am, Kuhl Winner Way will be a one way road southbound from County Route 16 to Gate #5, and northbound from Bronson Hill Road to Gate #6.
If you are attending church services, shopping or going to Watkins Glen, and you live along this route, it is advisable if you live between C.R. 17 and Meads Hill Road, you travel west in the traffic to Meads Hill and go north to State Route 329 and into Watkins Glen or left on Meads Hill to Wedgewood Road to State Route 414. Then you can turn right for Corning or left to Watkins Glen or Montour Falls. Persons living between Meads Hill Road and the track are requested to get into traffic and go to Townsend and then take the Watkins – Townsend Road to Watkins Glen.
At approximately 4:30 p.m. on this Sunday afternoon, there will be only one way traffic on County Route 16 with three lanes coming from the race track towards State Route 414 (traffic light) and then traffic will proceed two lanes down into the Village of Watkins Glen. This traffic is expected to last for more than 3 hours. There will also be one-way traffic, two lanes, going down Kuhl Winner Way from gate #6 to State Route 414. There will also be two lanes of traffic going from gate #5 and #4 on Kuhl Winner Way to County Route 16. All traffic coming off from Kuhl Winner Way will be three lanes and diverted in Townsend to County Route 16, County Route 19 or the Watkins-Townsend Road, preferably through the State Park, to the Station Road and down into the Village through Steuben Street.
Plans are in place with Emergency Services to respond to emergencies during the egress period for the safety of the residents in that area. Sheriff’s patrols also will be in the area should there be any problems.
The department apologizes for any inconvenience this may cause, but states this is necessary for the volume of traffic that is expected in the short period of time. Please remember that these times are approximate and can change due to weather.