WENY News - Residents weigh in on Rt. 13 connector during public hearing

Residents weigh in on Rt. 13 connector during public hearing

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     HORSEHEADS, N.Y. (WENY) -- County officials say the Route 13 connector project is a big undertaking, and not only will that be on the way in the coming years, but other projects as in the works too.

    "This project is new road connecting Route 13 to the Host facility," said Chemung County Department of Public Works project coordinator, Elissa Manwaring. "It will intersect with Route 13, in between the two current roundabouts. It'll intersect with the Host facility where East Street intersects with Old Ithaca."

    The connector will also have two roundabouts, one on at the start of the connector on 13 and one at the end on Old Ithaca road, near one of the entrances to the holding point.

    "The biggest reason for the roundabout is they're just safer," said Manwaring. "There's many less contact points and, aside from less accidents, they're almost always less severe. Instead of high speed  t-bones that you see at a four-way intersection, you're at low speed fender benders and side-swipes. They're just way safer."

    The county received 23 million dollars in state and federal funding to make other improvements, besides the just the connector. Some things they plan on working on are installing a left turn lane at the intersection of Wygant Road and Route 14, fixing railroad intersections on Wygant Road, as well as making improvements to the Newtown creek levee. The goal of the connector is help keep traffic off local roads, which will, in turn, help keep the roads in better condition. For residents, they believe the connector is a great idea.

    "A lot of the houses on Old Ithaca Road are within fifty feet of the road," said Horseheads resident, Ken Miller. "So the noise coming from the traffic is pretty heavy. The truck traffic is the most noise. So I think it's going to make it a nicer, quieter community and maybe people will get more sleep."

    The connector project is expected to start in the summer of 2020. If you were unable to attend Tuesday night's meeting, you can still send comments to the Chemung County Department of Public Works until May 25. You can either submit written comments in person to the Chemung County Department of Public Works, or via email at emanwaring@co.chemung.ny.us.

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