Do you think miles of Route 54 are closed?
BARRINGTON—The New York State Department of Transportation is replacing a culvert on Route 54, just north of The Olney Place, 823 State Route 54.
That is why there are signs from Penn Yan to Hammondsport declaring a road closure ahead and advising “local traffic only.” However, the scope of the work itself and the only closed road is actually limited to the culvert’s location, which is about 50 yards. Tim Alimossy, DOT resident engineer for Yates and Schuyler Counties, said signs were placed miles in front of the work to redirect most traffic.
He explained the state’s suggested detour is Routes 14A and 230. Driving south from Penn Yan on Route 54, the DOT recommends taking 14A to 230, which reconnects with 54. The detour going north from Hammondsport, is the reverse: Route 230 to 14A, which reconnects to 54 in Penn Yan.
However, he said there are no signs on Route 230 alerting traffic that turning north onto 54 leads to a dead end because of the work. He said State Route 230 does have “detour” signs posted along the road and that drivers should know they are on a detour. However, trucks that have not gone through Penn Yan would not know what the detour is for.
Signs on Route 54 state “local residents only,” but does allow a lane for vehicles to enter. This includes a sign in Penn Yan, at the Route 54 and 14A intersection, eight miles north of the work.
Alimossy explained area residents are not strictly limited to the suggested detour and can take whatever roads they want to get around the work. Old Bath Road out of Penn Yan and off of 230 will be faster than going to 14A. However, this route is only an option for some vehicles. Trucks and other heavier vehicles are restricted on many area side roads.
Alimossy said Route 54 should be open again by the first week of November. The culvert location was closed last week.
He added the DOT contacted Yates County, the village of Penn Yan, and the Yates County Chamber of Commerce in advance about the work. Alimossy said it’s general practice to also put up electronic signs informing drivers about nearby construction. However, he said he wasn’t sure the boards were available for this project. Besides the detour signs, no other public notification was established.
Yates County Highway Superintendent Dave Hartman said he was notified about the work by the DOT. He explained he doesn’t know what the state’s procedure is for announcing a project or telling the public. Hartman said, “It’s their project, it’s their responsibility.”
This isn’t the only road work changing traffic patterns on Route 54. The culvert project is north of a bridge replacement currently underway near Camp Arey Road.