After nearly three years of construction, a critical one-mile project on Route 59 in West Nyack is finally done.
All of the construction equipment and barriers have been removed from the lanes stretching from the front of the Palisades Center and Crosfield Avenue in West Nyack. Traffic is flowing smoothly over the newly paved roadway.
“It’s about time,” West Nyack resident Randy Glucksman said.
The $31 million project was scheduled to be completed by Oct. 31, although the state had been predicting it would end even earlier.
The massive infrastructure job was much more than about fixing the road. Four bridges along Route 59 were also replaced, all while traffic was kept moving.
It didn’t help that the road led directly to arguably Rockland’s most popular destination, the Palisades Center mall.
At its worst on weekday morning and weekends, traffic could easily back up more than a mile, forcing drivers to sit stuck in one lane.
Savvy drivers eventually resorted to using side streets, an unwelcome development for those living in previously quiet neighborhoods.
“When we had to go in the area, we would always go on the Thruway because it was such a nightmare to go in that traffic,” Glucksman said Friday.
The state Department of Transportation project came in about $2 million over budget. The DOT has previously said that was largely due to extra drainage and utility work, additional traffic protection and redoing some work that was damaged by Tropical Storm Irene in the summer of 2012.
A DOT spokeswoman said some minor work, such as landscaping, left that may result in a sporadic lane closures for a short time.
Aside from adding new sidewalks and crosswalks, Route 59 was raised 18 inches to aid in drainage during storms. There is a new longer merge lane from Sickletown Road onto eastbound lanes, replacing a stop sign.
“They did a nice job, I’ll say that,” Glucksman said.
Route 59 construction this past February. Frank Becerra Jr./The Journal News/LoHud.com