June 11, 2024

HOCTC Launching Connectivity & Safety Improvement Study & Website for Exit 31 Interchange

News Photo

County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. announced today that the Herkimer Oneida County Transportation Council (HOCTC) is launching a study and website and holding a public meeting to improve the connectivity and safety of the Interstate 90 (I-90) Exit 31 Interchange and surrounding roadway network.

Exit 31 is the gateway into North Utica, downtown Utica and the surrounding Mohawk Valley Region,” Picente said. “This major interchange serves a unique blend of retail, commercial, light industrial, freight, entertainment, recreational and residential uses and is crucial to our local and regional connectivity. Conducting this study will allow us to develop design alternatives focused on improving that connectivity, addressing safety issues and promoting economic development.”

The I-90 Exit 31 Planning and Environmental Linkages (PEL) Study is being undertaken by HOCTC in partnership with the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) Region 2 and a Technical Advisory Group comprised of federal, state, regional and local transportation experts. The study will be developed through a collaborative planning process to clearly identify safety issues and develop proposed transportation solutions that will lay the foundation for the future redesign of I-90 Exit 31 Interchange and surrounding roadway network.

A public meeting will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. on June 18, 2024 in the Saranac Room of the Double Tree by Hilton located at 102 Lafayette Street in Utica. The public is encouraged to attend the meeting to learn more about the study and provide input that will help the project team better understand how the I-90 Exit 31 Interchange and surrounding roadway network is currently accessed by the community, existing safety issues and opportunities for improvement.

HOCTC is also launching a new website for the I-90 Exit 31 PEL Study. The website can be accessed at www.Exit31PELStudy.org and provides information about the study, an interactive map allowing the public to identify safety issues and opportunities for improvement in and around the study area and an online comment form. The study website will also be used to announce upcoming public events and other opportunities for public input.

“Public input is essential to the I-90 Exit 31 PEL Study and will play a central role in the identification of safety and connectivity issues and proposed improvements,” said Oneida County Planning Commissioner James Genovese. “Several other opportunities will be made available for the public to participate in the planning process throughout 2024 and into 2025.”

The draft PEL Study Report is anticipated to be completed by Spring 2025. Following public review and comment, the study recommendations and report will be finalized by Summer 2025. This PEL study will also inform the environmental review for one or more future projects being progressed under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) process.

HOCTC is the Metropolitan Planning Organization for both Oneida and Herkimer counties. It shares responsibility with the state to develop cooperative transportation plans and programs for the two-county area. HOCTC also provides a forum for the identification of transportation needs by area residents and organizations. The I-90 PEL Study is federally funded with FHWA Planning & FHWA Statewide Planning and Research funds through HOCTC.

Oneida County Partners