Lake George Gateway Project ahead of schedule
LAKE GEORGE — The Gateway Project will improve the look of the Route 9 corridor headed into the heart of Lake George, but there is more to the project than meets the eye.
Beneath the road surface, the project includes a new system designed to filter pollutants from roadway runoff before they reach the lake.
“This really goes a long way in helping protect the jewel of New York State — Lake George,” said New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Matthew Driscoll at a press event on the progress of the project on August 17 at the corner of Route 9 and 9N off Northway Exit 21.
Driscoll spoke along with several other state and local representatives.
Driscoll said the roughly $7 million project is on budget and ahead of schedule.
The Gateway Project aims to revamp about a mile-long stretch of Route 9 — in the town of Lake George — from Northway Exit 21 to the village line near West Brook Road.
Driscoll noted the environmental elements include rain gardens, bioretention basins, a new stormwater drainage collection and treatment system that “filters and feeds it underground along the roadside to help sustain the landscaping as well.”
“We’re excited to help contribute to supporting the tourism economy here, and also very excited about helping to support what really is the crown jewel of New York State — the Lake George area — this village and this town which is a wonderful place to visit,” Driscoll said.
State Sen. Betty Little said DOT and the town have done well in efforts to quell effects on local tourism from the construction this past season. The construction schedule takes into account special events in Lake George and holidays.
“For our area — for tourism — good roads and safe bridges are extremely important,” Little said. “The governor and you (DOT) have made sure we’re not blocking tourism on the weekends. They’ve done a great job with that.”
State Assemblyman Dan Stec praised the project as well.
“It’d be very easy, and very tempting, and perhaps financially efficient, to come in here and disrupt local traffic, but I think this project is one of many examples I can think of in my district where DOT has been very sensitive to local needs,” Stec said.
Stec said the project is “not only doing good things for moving traffic, but also doing good things for the lake as well.”
Town of Lake George Supervisor Dennis Dickinson thanked the state for the funding provided to make the project possible.
“It’s a great asset for us. It’s (the Route 9 corridor) the entrance to Lake George — not only the town and village—but the Lake George region,” Dickinson said.
The project aims to bring a “complete streets” plan to the busy corridor, meaning it will accommodate many types of travelers, including pedestrians, motorists and bicyclists.
Some design elements include a new park-and-ride lot near Northway Exit 21 and pathways connecting to various attractions, including Warren County Bikeway, the waterfront and Prospect Mountain Highway.
The project also includes themed lighting and landscape improvements that use native plants to beautify the area.