The Last Mile Project, a comprehensive reconstruction of the one-mile stretch of I-95 from Rye to the Connecticut border, is scheduled to begin later this year. At the February 7 City Council meeting, Mayor Josh Cohn updated the community on the status of the large-scale project, which is estimated will take two years to complete. “I think it’s going to be very hard on certain portions of Rye,” he advised.
The reconstruction is expected to cause major disruptions in traffic flow for Rye residents, particularly since the on and off ramp for I-95 North at Midland Avenue will be closed in full or in part for a substantial period of time. The bridge over Purchase Street and the Boston Post Road Bridge will also be rehabilitated, while the Grace Church Street Bridge over I-95 will be completely replaced.
Mayor Cohn said the state has put the project out to bid, and once the bids are awarded (April or May), the next step is the completion of detailed construction plans. “We want to be involved in the fine-tuning of those plans,” he emphasized, so Rye can be certain that accommodations already agreed upon by the state (alternate routes, dust and sound protection, etc.) are included in the final plans. Cohn also wants the City to be able to review the plans to determine if additional accommodations should be provided to further protect Rye from this invasive project.
At the Council meeting, Rye resident Nancy Benson asked if residents would be notified in advance of any construction in town. “I hope we don’t wake up one morning to see detour signs all over Rye,” she said. Benson also expressed concern that the Byram River Bridge (scheduled for resurfacing) will experience too much overflow traffic from both the Last Mile and the United Hospital projects.
After the update, Cohn proposed that the Traffic and Pedestrian Safety Committee take responsibility for closely monitoring this project and alert the City of anything that might require attention or action on the City’s behalf. The Mayor had already asked City Manager Marcus Serrano for background from the Department of Transportation.
For a more detailed look at the project, visit thruway.ny.gov/oursystem/last-mile.
— Gretchen Althoff Snyder