State Legislators and Local Officials Announce Route 9A Study

Elijah Reichlin-Melnick

April 29, 2022

Briarcliff Manor, NY – A group of state legislators, which included New York State Senators Pete Harckham, Tim Kennedy and Elijah Reichlin-Melnick, along with Assemblymember Sandra Galef and a number of local officials announced today that $3 million of state funding has been allocated in the FY2023 State Budget for a much-needed study of Route 9A.

The announcement was made a news conference hosted by Briarcliff Manor Mayor Steven Vescio outside the Briarcliff Animal Hospital, just several yards away from the busy north-south roadway, where more than 40,000 vehicles travel daily, including passenger cars, SUVs, emergency transports, concrete mixers, delivery vans, landscaping trucks with equipment trailers and large 12-wheelers. Among the many local officials attending the event were Mount Pleasant Supervisor Carl Fulgenzi, Ossining Supervisor Dana Levenberg and Croton-on-Hudson Mayor Brian Pugh.

“For too many years, this very busy stretch of state highway, with its dangerous intersections, lack of a breakdown lane and poor drainage that negatively impacts adjacent neighborhoods, has required serious upgrading, and now we are finally moving forward with its overhaul and improvement,” said Harckham. “This $3 million study of Route 9A would not be taking place without the help of my legislative partners and strong local advocates, who deserve our thanks for making public safety a priority here.”

The cost for a study of Route 9A was seen in prior years as being too prohibitive, Harckham noted, but by working together with Senator Kennedy, the chair of the Senate Transportation Committee, and Senator Reichlin-Melnick, with whom he shares part of the roadway with in their respective Senate districts, the funding was secured finally.

“As we rebound from the pandemic, we remain focused on rebuilding from the ground up—and that starts with our infrastructure,” said Kennedy. “Route 9A has posed problems for first responders, drivers and homeowners for years, and by securing these critical dollars in this year’s state budget, we're taking a major step forward in identifying how this heavily trafficked roadway can be improved. This is yet another example of Senators Harckham and Reichlin-Melnick delivering real results, and I was proud to fight alongside them for this important funding.”

“For the sake of the 40,000-plus vehicles that use this roadway every day, and for the sake of our local first responders who are burdened by dangerous and avoidable accidents, I am proud to join my colleagues in announcing that the Route 9A study will now happen,” said Reichlin-Melnick. “Securing funding for this project was a top priority of mine in this year’s budget, and thanks to a collaborative effort of state officials and the strong advocacy of local residents and officials, we are finally seeing some progress with a commitment of $3 million from the Department of Transportation to study how to improve this dangerous stretch of road.”

“This is a great day to celebrate,” said Galef. “Concrete steps are being taken to study and improve Route 9A. This historic road was never meant to be a thoroughfare for large trucks and sanitation vehicles. The time is now to identify major road improvements for our future motorists.”

Today's announcement of a Route 9A study is based upon legislation (S.2988 / A.5925) that Harckham and Galef have introduced (and which Reichlin-Melnick and Abinanti have cosponsored) regularly in the last few years.

The study is limited to the portion of Route 9A within the Towns of Mount Pleasant and Ossining, so it includes the Village of Briarcliff (which is in both towns). The New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) will conduct the study, which will include: the estimated total cost of new guardrail installation; estimated total cost of underpass renovations to accommodate commercial vehicles (some do not fit under the Pleasantville Road bridge); estimated duration of the project; the impact construction will have on local traffic patterns; and the environmental impact of the project.

As the study proceeds, the state lawmakers recognize that areas for cooperation between agencies who have purview over this project and / or relevant properties need to be identified, and their input will be solicited and incorporated into the study as well.

It is well understood that the portion of Route 9A to be studied currently poses a significant risk to motorists. It has narrow shoulders, low-clearance underpasses and general design deficiencies, all of which put a major strain on traffic, as well as on the first responders who answer emergencies and deal with the more than 120 crashes on this stretch of roadway each year.

Mount Pleasant Supervisor Carl Fulgenzi said, “I want to thank Senators Pete Harckham, Tim Kennedy and Elijah Reichlen-Melnick and Assemblymember Sandra Galef for spearheading the funding for a long sought-after study of Route 9A. This study is critical and demands immediate attention due to the growth along the route over the years as well as the more recent and pending developments in the Town of Mount Pleasant alone.”

Ossining Supervisor Dana Levenberg said, “Route 9A in the Village of Briarcliff and the Town of Ossining urgently requires study to ensure this critical corridor in our community is safe and resilient for many years to come.  Thank you to Senators Reichlin-Melnick and Harckham, and Assemblywoman Galef for your steadfast advocacy to get the funding we need to invest in our local infrastructure.”

Ossining Mayor Rika Levin said, “Route 9A is one of the main thoroughfares used by folks traveling to or from Ossining, and a comprehensive study is needed in order to ensure that everyone who uses it, including first responders, can do so safely. The highway is nearly 100 years old and we travel so much differently now than we did when it was constructed—this funding will allow the DOT to take a good look at how our modern-day traffic volumes can be better accounted for.”

Briarcliff Manor Mayor Steven Vescio said, “This important first step will lead to critical improvements to this busy parkway and provide a safe roadway for the residents of Briarcliff and all those traveling on Route 9A.”

Senator Reichlin-Melnick at the podium with Assemblywoman Sandy Galef, Ossining Supervisor Dana Levenberg, Senator Pete Harckham, Briarcliff Mayor Steve Vescio, and Senator Tim Kennedy