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New Castle Prepares for Taconic Construction

NEW CASTLE, N.Y. – With major construction work set to begin on the Taconic State Parkway in March , New Castle town officials are preparing for the worst.

“We expect it to cause significant traffic problems,” said Town Supervisor Susan Carpenter, who said during peak times, nearly 6,000 commuters per hour are traveling on the roadway.

Construction on the $26 million project to rehabilitate the Taconic over the New Croton Reservoir (AMVETS Bridge) will begin on March 26 and is scheduled to finish around November 9.

The construction on the parkway will force the closure of the northbound entrance ramp at Route 134, according to a map released by the New York State Department of Transportation .

While the majority of work will be carried out in the geographical area of Yorktown, Carpenter said she expects a lot of traffic overflow into New Castle.

“I think people in New Castle will feel most of it in terms of traffic coming through side streets,” said Carpenter. “They’re (NYSDOT) trying to convince people to take Route 9 and 684.”

During the construction period, northbound Taconic lanes will be completely closed from Pines Bridge Road in New Castle to Underhill Avenue in Yorktown.

Traffic will be re-routed to the southbound Taconic, which will be four lanes wide with a concrete barrier between two lanes in each direction.

“They’re lowering the speed limit over the bridge to 30 miles per hour. The lanes are going to be very narrow,” said Carpenter. “It’s gonna be difficult.”

In anticipation of the difficulties the traffic will cause, several emergency services agencies in New Castle are already planning for an increased workload.

“The fire department is very concerned about it,” said Hala Makoswka, chairperson of the Millwood Fire District Board of Commissioners. “We’ve bought more tools for more trucks expecting more accidents.”

Carpenter said ambulances will also be placed in the area at all times expecting more accidents.

During the construction period, AMVETS Bridge will be undergoing various repairs. They include new steel hangers, deck support, concrete deck, railings, installation of a new guide rail and resurfacing pavement on the roadway on each end of the bridge.

According to Town Administrator Penny Paderewski, construction ending on November 9 is a safe bet. Paderewski said the construction company will be fined $33,000 every day it is early or late.

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