Good Question: Any delays on thruway plaza work?

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ROCHESTER N.Y. (WHEC) — Let’s answer a good question about the New York State Thruway. I’ve heard from people asking about the rest stops getting a complete overhaul.

Is everything still on schedule? Jon is one viewer reaching out:

  • "What is the ETA for the completion of the thruway rest stops between Rochester and Buffalo?"

For starters, 10 thruway service plazas closed for construction last year. It’s the first phase of a 450 million dollar revamp of every rest stop on I-90. The closest rest stops to us, Pembroke, Clifton Springs, and Junius Ponds, all shut down first.

Junius Ponds is one of three stops statewide that, originally, should’ve been done and open by March. That didn’t happen. Why?

The contractor doing the work ran into problems early on, issues related to COVID and the supply chain. This affects the first plazas set to reopen, including Junius Ponds, which is the exit for Waterloo and Geneva.

Instead of opening now, the reopening date has been pushed back to the 3rd quarter, so we’re looking at late summer maybe even September.

A spokesperson for Empire State Thruway partners, the group that put up the winning bid to redevelop the rest stops and run them for more than 30 years, told me:

  • "We are working with AECOM to help them find ways to deliver the developments as soon as possible."

A spokesperson from the Thruway Authority told Brennan Somers:

  • “Empire State Thruway Partners and AECOM, the construction lead on the project, claim geo-political issues, COVID-19 and global supply chain shortages are causing delays to the project. The Thruway Authority has directed, and Empire has committed, to working with AECOM to mitigate delays and to meet their contractual obligations in this public-private partnership. We will continue to monitor their progress and update our customers as we get closer to opening dates.”

Looking ahead, the issue to watch is will these early delays have any ripple effect on the work scheduled for the rest of the project, putting crews off schedule again?

We’re already seeing some of that with other local rest stops under construction, Clifton Springs at last check will be ready at some point this coming fall instead of September.

Pembroke to our west was supposed to be done by October. That’s now delayed until at least early next year.

You can check the status anytime on the Thruway Authority website. Remember, they aren’t closing two rest stops back-to-back going the same direction at the same time, but it could still be a long wait to reach a restroom at the plazas closed for work. You can still get gas but that’s it.