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The Steuben Courier Advocate
  • Steuben County stretch of Route 15 designated as Interstate 99

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  • The stretch of Route 15 from the Pennsylvania border to the Corning area has been officially designated as Interstate 99, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Friday.
    The five-mile stretch through Steuben County opened to traffic last October following a 10-year, $235 million construction project that included construction of a four-lane highway to replace the old two-lane road, as well as six bridges.
    However, there were still minor upgrades left to bring the highway up to interstate standards, so it wasn’t officially designated as Interstate 99 until now.
    The designation means Corning now sits at the interchange between Interstate 99, which runs north and south, and Interstate 86, which runs east and west.
    “We are making shipping and travel throughout the Northeast easier and more efficient,” Cuomo said in a statement. “This project will attract significant investments and economic activity from tourism and commerce.”
    “Federal designation as Interstate 99 means that the new road meets the highest safety standards in the nation,” added Joan McDonald, commissioner of the state Department of Transportation.
    The designation is the final link in an 80-mile stretch of the new I-99 that goes south to Williamsport, Pa., where it connects with Interstate 180. Eventually, I-99 will continue south to Cumberland, Md., passing through State College, Pa.
    The initial phase of the Steuben County project included building five miles of four-lane highway between Watson Creek Road and the hamlet of Presho, all within the Town of Lindley. That work was finished in August 2012.
    The $31.1 million second phase included building six bridges spanning three local roads and three creeks in Lindley to connect portions of the new highway built during the first phase. That was finished last fall.
    The DOT’s contractor for the work was Cold Spring Construction, based in the Buffalo area.

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