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Gov. Andrew Cuomo: I-287 project completed months early

Traffic moves along I-287 in both directions as

Traffic moves along I-287 in both directions as seen from the Orchard Street overpass in North White Plains. (May 24, 2012) Photo Credit: Photo by Angela Gaul

After more than a decade of cost overruns and construction delays, the reconstruction of the Interstate 287 corridor through Westchester County finally has been completed -- and, says Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, more than nine months before schedule.

The $568 million project, which replaced two bridges, a highway interchange and several upgraded exits, began 15 years ago but was plagued by setbacks and overages that added more than $78 million to the final cost.

In 2011, Cuomo put the brakes on the project and ordered a complete review that resulted in changes to the completion date and sweeping reforms aimed at making sure highway projects get done on time and on budget.

"The I-287 reconstruction project was a prime example for drivers in Westchester of the dysfunction in state government, but in the last two years we reformed the process, reduced the cost to taxpayers and finished the job before schedule," Cuomo said in a statement Tuesday. "This project began over a decade ago and resulted in tens of millions in cost overruns and years of delay -- time and money that New York taxpayers could not afford to waste."

The project added new exit ramps to improve access from I-287 to downtown White Plains and local connections to Harrison. It also separated traffic destined for downtown White Plains with eastbound and westbound direct access roads from I-287 to White Plains, bypassing the traffic signals on Westchester Avenue at White Plains Avenue. New traffic signals, sidewalks, guardrails and ramps were installed along a mile-long section of the expressway, among other upgrades.

The final phase was substantially completed in December, and the highway fully opened to traffic in December.

Cuomo said the finishing touches -- including paving and striping, new lighting along North Street, landscaping and wetlands mitigation -- will be completed in the spring.

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