November 17, 2015

Pine Tree Road to See Reconstruction

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Next summer, Pine Tree Road, south of Cornell, will undergo a $1.8 million construction project that includes installment of a new bridge superstructure, widening of the road and the inclusion of shoulders.

Though the project’s start date has not yet been determined, the project is expected to be “largely complete” by August for student move-in day.

“We are waiting for the county to bid the project within the next month or so. We will most likely know by the first of the year,” said University Planner Leslie Schill at a University Assembly meeting Tuesday afternoon.

Commuters can expect to encounter slower traffic work zones throughout the entirety of the project. According to Schill, planners of the project hope the project will produce measurable benefits for the community.

“We think that it will help for commuters, particularly campus commuters and graduate students … in Maplewood, potentially even with one extra link in the next few years to connect to East Hill Plaza and the East Hill village of the future,” Schill said.

The new bridge will necessitate railroad tracks to be pulled out of the current location. New multi-trail links will be constructed around the roads for pedestrians use for recreational walking, running or biking.

“It will serve to fill a gap and connect a link between campus and the East Hill Recreation Way, so [it will be] a well utilized community asset,” Schill said.

The University, City of Ithaca and Tompkins County will pay approximately $600,000 of the construction’s $1.8 million price tag, with the remaining $1.2 million provided by the state and federal governments.

“All three local partners had to dig deep and come up with a bit of extra funding because initial bids a year ago came back above early estimates,” Schill said.

All funds are committed.