Long delayed improvements to the intersection of Route 94 and County Route 1A have been placed on the Transportation Improvement Plan and funding secured through the Orange County Transportation Council’s Federal Highway Improvement allocation.
The intersection has long been a bottleneck for travel through the Town of Warwick.
Initial request dates back to 2004
Town of Warwick Supervisor Michael Sweeton explained that when the town originally approached then New York State Senator Tom Morahan to discuss the dangerous intersection, it requested a light and turning lane in the northbound direction. The senator quickly understood the need and went to the New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) since this was a State road and they agreed to make the improvements.
“As often is the case,” said Sweeton, “after design and review over several years the state contacted the municipality to say they only had immediate funds to install the light but not the turning lane. We could have either the light or nothing. Fearing that if we chose nothing, improvements would be relegated to the backburner, we chose to take the light with promises for future improvements.”
That was back in 2004 and with constant lobbying the New York DOT agreed several years later to place the project back on the Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP) for Orange County. But in 2008 and 2009 when the recession hit, New York State issued a new policy for allocating transportation money which stated only maintenance projects would be funded and no new projects.
This remained the policy until only a few years ago.
In Orange County all Transportation projects must be listed on a TIP which is a five-year allocation of projects across the county that allocation of federal transportation dollars.
The Orange County Transportation Council (OCTC) , made up of representatives of the county, three cities and towns and villages must approve projects to be placed on the TIP.
‘Countless delays and unnecessary increased automobile emission’
Sweeton serves as the representative for the southern area communities and when unallocated funds were identified on the current five-year TIP, he sought and gained the approval of the council to allow NYS DOT to use these funds to make the long sought and sorely needed improvements to this very congested intersection.
“This is a long overdue correction that has caused countless delays and unnecessary increased automobile emission,” he said. “We are relieved to have finally secured the funding to get this done.”