CENTRAL VALLEY — The state Department of Transportation will meet with the public Tuesday to review progress on the $150 million reconstruction of Exit 131 at the intersection of Route 17 and Route 32.
The meeting will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at the Central Valley Elementary School on Route 32, opposite Woodbury Common Premium Outlets. In the case of bad weather, it will be held the following day, Wednesday, at the same time and place.
“We knew there was going to be some amount of pain with this — and there has been — and I think the public’s attitude now is ‘Let’s get it done and be done with it,’’’ said Woodbury Village Mayor Mike Queenan.
Yonkers Contracting and HNTB started work in December 2017, after the state spent almost two decades planning and then postponing the project. They are scheduled to finish this fall.
In the interim, the heavily traveled intersection — home to schools, shopping centers, commuter parking lots and a New York State Thruway entrance — has been a 360-degree construction zone seven days a week, with regularly changing traffic patterns. Backups and delays are commonplace on both highways.
The most recent major shift came the week before Christmas, when Yonkers Contracting completed work on the north side of Route 32 and moved to the south side, opening and closing lanes in the process.
“They couldn’t have waited until after the busy Christmas shopping season?" Queenan said. “I mean, really.”
Perhaps the most enduring complaint of local people, he continued, was about the poor visibility of pavement markings for the uneven and twisting lanes through the intersection.
“At night, or in the rain, you have no idea where the lanes are,’’ Queenan said.
The DOT and the contractor will have engineers at the meeting Tuesday to explain what’s in store this year and to answer the public’s questions.
The project’s signature feature will be a diverging diamond on Route 32 where it crosses Route 17. The eight-lane diamond will enable left turns across traffic independent of signals, eliminating the bottlenecks that have plagued the interchange for years — particularly to the Thruway.