Major construction begins on I-88 in Otsego County

May 16—Gov. Kathy Hochul announced Wednesday, May 16 that major construction has begun on a $21.8 million project to enhance safety and drivability along a stretch of Interstate 88.

According to a news release, the project will resurface 8.4 miles of pavement on I-88 between exit 18 for Schenevus, located in the town of Maryland, and exit 19 for Worcester and East Worcester, in the town of Worcester.

Additionally, minor work will take place on the bridges over South Hill Road, and rehabilitation work will be done on 16 small culverts.

Work on the project is expected to last until early 2026. The highway will remain open while work is underway, but drivers should expect new traffic patterns between exits 18 and 19.

"Interstate 88 is a critical corridor for people visiting the Capital Region and the Southern Tier and remains one of the most picturesque rides in all of New York state," Hochul said in a statement. "We have invested heavily in restoring bridge and road infrastructure along I-88 and this project will ensure New Yorkers who rely on I-88 will continue to travel safely."

In addition to being a significant connector between the Southern Tier and the Capital District, the project area is an important tourism corridor, with access to attractions such as the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown and Howe Caverns in Schoharie County, the news release stated.

Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer credited the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, also known as the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which he led to passage, for funding the project and "pav[ing] the way for a smoother commute for Otsego County along Interstate 88."

"Years of nonstop traffic and harsh winter weather has degraded I-88," he said, "and now these upgrades will ensure the safety and drivability of this major roadway, all while creating good-paying construction jobs for New Yorkers."

Otsego County Board of Representatives Chairman Edwin Frazier, Jr. thanked Hochul for making the repairs of I-88 in Worcester a priority.

"This section gets lots of local traffic as well as a primary route for those coming to visit our beautiful county," Frazier said in a statement. "These repairs will make it much easier and safer for those that travel on I-88."

All construction activities are weather dependent, the news release stated.

Drivers are reminded that fines are doubled for speeding in a work zone. In accordance with the Work Zone Safety Act of 2005, convictions of two or more speeding violations in a work zone could result in the suspension of an individual's driver's license.