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DOT will discuss plans to improve Route 531

Staff Reports Posted 31 January 2015 at 12:00 am

State decides against extending expressway westward towards Orleans County

SPENCERPORT – The State Department of Transportation will have a public hearing on Thursday at Spencerport High School to discuss its plan to improve the safety of the Route 531 terminus.

The DOT estimates it will cost $14.2 million to upgrade the current terminus at Route 36. The project won’t extend the expressway west towards Orleans County.

There will be an informal open house on Thursday from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the Spencerport High School cafeteria area. Project displays will be staffed by the project team to describe the status of the project and collect public input.

A formal public hearing will start at 7 p.m. in the school auditorium. A short presentation will outline the alternatives that were studied for the project including engineering, traffic, environmental, and right-of-way aspects and the basis for selecting the preferred alternative. Oral comments will be recorded and written comments will be received.

This project is a direct result of the Route 531 Extension Study that was concluded in 2009, DOT officials said. It was determined that the expressway would not be extended and Route 31 would not be widened.

However, the information collected during the study indicated that spot improvements to improve safety and reduce congestion at the existing Route 531 terminus as well as along the Route 31 corridor.

Since this new project was initiated to address the needs at the terminus, the DOT has looked at several possible alternatives and measured them against the purpose and need statement. Each involves a significant change to how the intersection at Route 531/36 and 31 operates today.

The preferred design alternative consists of a conventional four-legged, at-grade, signalized intersection at Route 531 and Route 36. The Route 531 to Route 31 transition would be just south of existing Route 31, along the existing eastbound on-ramp.

Route 531 would connect directly to Route 31 and would transition from a four-lane expressway to a two-lane rural arterial west of Route 36. The main through movement that currently turns right onto Route 36, then left at the proceeding Route 31 / Route 36 signalized intersection would continue straight along Route 531 to Route 31.

Route 31 would be widened to add a center median to separate the eastbound and westbound travel lanes from where the “new” Route 531 lanes tie into Route 31 all the way to just east of Gallup Road. Former Route 31 would be transformed to a cul-de-sac approximately 2,000 feet west of Route 36, which would continue to provide access to the residential homes located on the north side of Route 31. A continuous two-way left turn lane between Gallup Road west towards Salmon Creek Road would be provided to ease travel at intersections.

The DOT expects to open construction bids in the summer 2016, with construction to start that fall and be complete in the fall 2017.

For more information on the project, including renderings of the site improvements, click here.