State Legislators Win $3 Million Funding for Much-Needed Study of Routes 35 / 202, Bear Mt. Parkway

Peekskill, NY – New York State Senators Pete Harckham and Shelley Mayer, along with Assemblymembers Chris Burdick, Dana Levenberg and Matt Slater, announced today that the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) has allocated $3 million in the state’s FY2023-24 budget to conduct a study to evaluate State Route 35 and State Route 202 between the Hudson River and Connecticut border to evaluate traffic flow and safety issues. The study will include the Bear Mountain Parkway as well, which runs from the Town of Yorktown through the Town of Cortlandt Manor and the City of Peekskill.

The state legislators have been pushing for this study for four years at the behest of residents and business owners who have voiced major concerns about the condition of the three roadways, two of which, Routes 35 and 202, overlap and run concurrently for several miles from west to east until separating in the Town of Somers.

“Motorists traveling on these busy state highways face inordinately long travel times because of the roadways’ narrow lanes, insufficient or non-existent shoulders, cross-traffic from side streets and areas of poor drainage, all of which require serious upgrading and improvements,” said State Senator Pete Harckham. “I am grateful to NYSDOT Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez, Majority Leader Andrea Stewart-Cousins and Senate Transportation Committee Chair Tim Kennedy for supporting this study and making public safety a priority here, and I also thank the members of the Assembly for recognizing the importance of this study as well.”

State Senator Shelley Mayer said, “Thank you to my colleague, Senator Pete Harckham, and Majority Leader Stewart-Cousins for securing funding for a NYS Department of Transportation study of Routes 35 and 202 in Westchester. These are primary roadways across northern Westchester, and I have repeatedly heard from residents across Pound Ridge—and when I represented Bedford—about their concerns about safety and road conditions. Smooth operation of these roadways is essential for our economy and resident safety. I look forward to the results of this important study, and working with my colleagues to implement any necessary changes.”

The cost for a study of the Route 35 / 202  / Bear Mountain Parkway corridor was seen in prior years as being too prohibitive, Harckham noted, but by working together with Senator Tim Kennedy, chair of the Senate Transportation Committee, and NYSDOT the funding was finally secured. Approximately 57,000 vehicles use these roadways every day, according to NYSDOT traffic data.

Earlier this year Harckham and Burdick introduced bills (S.4531A / A.344) in their respective houses calling for a study of Routes 35 and 202.

It is well understood that Routes 35 and 202 pose a significant risk to motorists and put a major strain on traffic, as well as on the first responders who answer emergencies and deal with the numerous crashes on these roadways each year.

Assemblymember Chris Burdick said, “I am delighted that the budget includes funds to carry out a corridor study for Route 35 / 202 to assess road conditions and estimate project costs for repaving. Anyone who drives Route 35 / 202 is painfully aware that it is in dire need of attention. This is the first critical step to secure much-needed funding. My thanks to Senator Harckham for leading this effort, which I strongly and vocally supported in the Assembly.”

Assemblymember Dana Levenberg said, “I am grateful for the work Senator Harckham has done over the years to advance safety on this vital corridor. We know how important these roads are to our constituents and our local economy. Evaluating the roads’ needs and how they have changed is critical to ensure we can move forward with the right improvements. We will continue to work together to ensure that this route and all of our roads receive the funding and attention they need to serve our communities well.”

Assemblymember Matt Slater said, “Enhancing the Route 35 / 202 corridor has been discussed for decades, and I am proud to be part of a bipartisan coalition that is delivering an important step in finally modernizing this crucial artery to support the growing demand on this state road.”

Peekskill Mayor Vivian McKenzie said, “The City of Peekskill is extremely grateful and hopeful that this $3 million study funding announcement will expedite a sustainable solution to moving people East to West, as well as our shared vision of a multi-modal pedestrian, bike and scenic thoroughfare from Connecticut to the Bear Mountain State Parkway that honors the Northern Tier of Westchester County and its natural beauty. The County’s northernmost towns and its central city of Peekskill have spent considerable time working together on our shared issues with these thoroughfares. Peekskill is hopeful that our historic central city in Northern Westchester can preserve its Main Street walkability by encouraging non-local truck use on the outskirts of the city, thus leaving its pedestrians to walk safely through its revitalized downtown without the impact of heavy truck traffic.

Somers Town Supervisor Robert Scorrano said, “I’m excited that the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) has allocated up to $3 million to conduct a study to evaluate the traffic flow and safety on State Route 35 and Route 202 from the Hudson River to the border of Connecticut. Although I hoped for funding to pave Somers’ State roads, this is a start.”

Yorktown Town Supervisor Tom Diana said, “I’m happy that New York State is investing $3 million dollars to possible road improvements on the Route 202 and Route 35 corridor. Hopefully we can find a resolution to a much needed traffic and safety update on our state roads in the Town of Yorktown.” 

State Senator Tim Kennedy said, “Senators Harckham and Mayer have fought for this funding for years, because they understand the impact this study will have on ensuring the safety of our roads and those who rely on them every day. By securing this money, a full analysis of these essential, highly trafficked Westchester roadways will move forward, and its long-term viability and efficiency will be prioritized.”

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