Penn Yan, N.Y., November 19–State Senator George Winner (R-C-I, Elmira) and Assemblyman Jim Bacalles (R-C-I, Corning) announced today that the state has agreed to a request they made in September to speed up the reconstruction of Route 54A in Yates County.
Winner and Bacalles said that the new plan will allow the state Department of Transportation (DOT) to utilize $5.4 million in federal stimulus cost savings to complete the reconstruction of State Route 54A between Branchport to Penn Yan in the fall of 2010. The Route 54A project was previously slated for a 2011 completion.
In late September, following news that the construction of the last stretch of Route 15/I-99 in Steuben County was moving ahead at lower-than-anticipated costs, Winner and Bacalles asked New York Governor David Paterson to keep the savings from the Route 15/I-99 project at work locally and specifically use the excess federal stimulus funding to more quickly complete the reconstruction of Route 54A, which has been plagued by safety concerns for many years.
In a September 22nd letter to the governor, Bacalles and Winner wrote, “We strongly believe this would be a wise and prudent use of these surplus stimulus funds and would help solve a serious problem that has concerned the residents of Yates County and the region. . . for many, many years.”
Officials from DOT Region 6 recently informed Bacalles and Winner that the state has agreed to redirect Route 15/I-99 cost savings to speed up the completion of the Route 54A reconstruction.
Winner and Bacalles praised the decision in a joint statement, “We’re extremely pleased that Governor Paterson and DOT Regional Director Peter White have recognized the value of keeping these federal stimulus savings at work within our region. The savings are being invested in a project that’s vital to Yates County residents and motorists, as well as to the strength and quality of the local economy. It’s great news for the many local residents and local officials who for so long have stressed the urgency of the Route 54A improvements. It’s also an investment that acknowledges tourism’s importance to the regional economy.”