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State Department of Transportation to Begin Replacement of Roadside Barriers on Route 73 in Essex County

Contact: Bryan Viggiani, (518) 457-6400 Release Date: April 26, 2022
State Department of Transportation to Begin Replacement of Roadside Barriers on Route 73 in Essex County
Concrete Barricades to be Replaced with New Railing to Allow For Unimpeded Views

Segments of Route 73 to Be Resurfaced

New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez today announced that work is underway on a $8.3 million project to replace concrete barriers and portions of guiderail along three segments of State Route 73 in the towns of Keene and North Elba, Essex County, with new railing that will allow travelers to better enjoy the scenic views while maintaining safety. The project includes a stretch of Route 73 along Upper and Lower Cascade Lakes that is part of the annual Lake Placid Ironman course. Work will be completed by late fall, ahead of the Lake Placid 2023 International University Sports Federation (FISU) World University Games coming this January.

“Route 73 is a vital corridor for the North Country and a gateway to the High Peaks, Lake Placid and dozens of beautiful spots available for recreation and tourism,” Commissioner Dominguez said. “The old concrete barrier, which hindered views of the Cascade Lakes and other views along this scenic drive, will be replaced with see-through railings to help create a welcoming gateway for residents and visitors to the majestic Adirondack Mountain region, including athletes and fans of the upcoming World University Games and competitors in the annual Lake Placid Ironman competition.”

Route 73 through Keene and North Elba is a scenic road through the Adirondacks. It is a major connector between the Adirondack Northway (Interstate 87) and the Village of Lake Placid, home of the 1932 and 1980 Winter Olympics. 

The work along Route 73 will occur:

  • Near Bullet Pond, approximately 2.2 miles north of the intersection with U.S. Route 9
  • Between Chapel Pond and Ausable Road
  • Along Upper and Lower Cascade Lakes

The barriers were installed in the early 2000s to replace masonry roadside barriers, and while safe, the surface underneath the barriers has deteriorated, necessitating the new installations.

Work will include new pavement on these segments of Route 73. Shoulders will be four feet wide on both sides of Route 73 along Upper and Lower Cascade Lakes, which is a stretch of road frequently used by cyclists training for the Ironman competition.

Site preparations are underway at all three locations, with weekday daytime traffic currently operating with alternating flows controlled by flaggers; this will continue as necessary through the end of April. Once site preparations are completed, motorists should watch for traffic to be reduced to a single alternating lane controlled by temporary traffic signals along these portions of Route 73.

Work along the Cascade Lakes will pause and the road will be fully open during the annual Lake Placid Ironman competition in July. Work and alternating traffic will then resume along this stretch until project completion, scheduled by late this autumn.

Senator Dan Stec said, “The work on Route 73 is welcome news that will significantly enhance the safety of our infrastructure. By replacing the old concrete barriers with newer, safer rails that offer more a scenic view, residents and tourists alike will be able to enjoy our region’s natural beauty more than ever before. With its expected completion coming this fall, we’ll be ready for the influx of athletes and visitors who will be here for next year’s FISU World University Games in Lake Placid and surrounding communities.”

Assembly Member Matthew Simpson said, “The announcement from Commissioner Dominguez is tremendous news. The Adirondack Mountain Region been experienced a boom in popularity from citizens across the great State of New York and throughout the entire northeastern United States. Record numbers of visitors come to us to experience the great trails of the High Peaks, rock climbing, or kayaking and canoeing our pristine Adirondack waterways in the summer or to enjoy the endless recreational options during the winter. While these barriers were always intended to be a temporary measure to ensure safety of visitors and residents alike, their removal and replacement will surely be met with satisfaction by many who seek to experience the world renowned natural beauty that can only be found in the Adirondacks.”

Essex County Board of Supervisors Chairman Shaun Gillilland said, “Essex County is pleased to be working as a partner with New York State Department of Transportation to improve the visitor experiences, highway safety, and preparations for the 2023 World University Games. This work in the Cascades will significantly improve and contribute to all of these goals.”

Town of Keene Supervisor Joseph P. Wilson Jr. said, “The improvements to State Route 73 in the Town of Keene are going to make the route safer for drivers and for recreational purposes. The growing pains this summer are well worth it for the wider lanes which will provide room for bicycles and other recreation traffic along the busy highway. The Department of Transportation has been an excellent partner in setting up these projects and we appreciate their efforts to improve this busy highway through our beautiful mountains.”

Town of North Elba Supervisor Derek Doty said, “The Town of North Elba remains grateful to New York State DOT for the continued high standard of maintenance that insures public safety for not only area residents, but for year-round visitors. Working around the annual IRONMAN race during construction is greatly appreciated as well as an improved roadway for Winter travel to and from ’23 World University Games!”

Motorists are urged to slow down and drive responsibly in work zones. Fines are doubled for speeding in a work zone. Convictions of two or more speeding violations in a work zone could result in the suspension of an individual’s driver license.

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