YORKTOWN, N.Y. Commuters traveling northbound on the Taconic State Parkway starting Sunday night wont experience any of the major traffic disruptions that are expected to start April 1. Those traveling southbound, however, will feel the effects as concrete barriers are set in place on the roadway, reducing it from three lanes going south to two lanes in each direction.
The disruption is due to an eight-month project slated to end in November that will close the northbound Taconic for about four miles as the trestle bridge, known as the AMVETS memorial bridge, is rehabilitated.
According to New York State Department of Transportation spokesperson Sue Stepp, southbound traffic will be affected beginning at 7 p.m. March 25. The southbound lanes will start being narrower, so that motorists will only be able to use two lanes out of the proposed four. Stepp advised that at intermittent times during the week, the road will be cut down to one lane traveling south overnight.
The real shift that motorists are being advised to look out for begins next Sunday, April 1. That evening, the northbound Taconic will be completely shut for a three-and-a-half-mile stretch, from Pines Bridge Road to Underhill Avenue. Motorists will be transitioned from the northbound lanes to the two lanes going north on the southbound Taconic.
During the project, especially during the first two weeks when Stepp said she expects to see the most delays police officers from different municipalities and traffic officials will be in the Traffic Command Center in Hawthorne, as well as on the road. Stepp said officials will be monitoring traffic on the Taconic as well as on alternate routes to alter traffic lights on the usual routes Taconic drivers may take to avoid the traffic.
Officials from the NYS DOT have said that in order to avoid major backups, some 2,200 cars will have to seek alternate routes. According to Yorktown Police Chief Daniel McMahon, the southbound bridge over the reservoir has a capacity for 6,000 cars at peak times, while the current number traveling at those times is 7,500. He explained that the four lanes on the southbound side will be eight feet, six inches wide and said drivers traveling side-by-side will experience a very uncomfortable feeling. McMahon said the cars will be staggered so that they are not driving one next to the other, but rather, one in front of the other in different lanes. McMahon said the DOT is hoping that half the cars that usually travel the Taconic find alternate routes.
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