Interstate 86 through New York's Southern Tier was originally Route 17, a two-lane road that was upgraded to a limited access freeway as Corridor T of the Appalachian Development Highway System, and renamed the Southern Tier Expressway.
Project Type:Widening Project Mode:Highway Average Annual Daily Traffic:13,023 Length (mi):185.00
Economic Distress:0.96 Population Density (ppl/sq mi):75 Population Growth Rate (%):-0.51
Employment Growth Rate (%):-0.27 Market Size:38,519 Airport Travel Distance:37.5244 Topography:11
Region:New England/Mid-Atlantic State:NY County:County
City:Allegany, Cattaguarus, Chautauqua & Steuben Counties Urban/Class Level:Mixed Local Area:Allegany, Cattaguarus, Chautauqua & Steuben Counties
Impact Area:County Transportation System:Highway GIS Lat/Long:42.162650 / -79.009237
Initial Study Date:1976 Post Constr. Study Date:2006
Constr. Start Date:1976 Constr. End Date:2004
Project Year of Expenditure (YOE): 1998 Planned Cost (YOE $):534,776,903
Actual Cost (YOE $):1,360,000,000 Actual Cost (curr $):1,943,690,307
NOTE: All pre/post dollar values are in 2013$
Select a region to display the conditions for that region:
NOTE: All impact dollar values are in 2013$
|Income (in $M's)||164.05||80.16||244.21|
|Output (in $M's)||244.21||510.03||754.24|
Interstate 86 through New York's Southern Tier was originally Route 17, a two-lane road. In the 1960's, Route 17 was upgraded to a four-lane expressway. From the 1970's through the 1990's, the roadway was upgraded to a limited access freeway as Corridor T of the Appalachian Development Highway System, and renamed the Southern Tier Expressway. It was designated an interstate highway in 1998. This case study focuses on the completed portion of the roadway between the Pennsylvania border in the west, and the Steuben/Chemung County line in the east, which was completed in 1997. This is a rural part of New York State, where the economy has lagged behind the rest of the state consistently. The upgrade of Route 17 to interstate standards is credited with creating/retaining 3,200 to 3,300 jobs over 30 years. Many of these jobs in the western part of the study area serve the tourism industry. In the far eastern part of the region, near the intersection of I-86 and the newly designated I-99, new jobs have been attracted in fiber and ceramics manufacturing.
2.1 Location & Transportation Connections
Interstate 86 in western New York State is 185 miles long; with 177 miles in the four-county study area that includes Chautauqua, Cattaraugus, Allegany, and Steuben Counties. There are plans to extend the highway an additional 203 miles to the east to meet I-87 in Harriman, New York. The highway intersects with I-90 near Erie, Pennsylvania, providing interstate access west to Seattle. The highway intersects with Interstate 390 in Acova, Steuben County, providing a connection north to the New York State Thruway and Rochester, New York. Recently, a new interchange opened in 2008 near Corning, New York where the northern terminus of the newly-opened section of I-99 intersects with I-86. I-99 connects with the Pennsylvania Turnpike (I-70 and I-76) just north of Bedford, PA. Other major north-south highways that intersect with I-86 include US 219 near Salamanca in Cattaraugus County, and US Route 62 in eastern Chautauqua County.
Norfolk Southern's Southern Tier Extension Mainline provides the region's primary east-west rail service. The line was unused for many years, but reopened in 2003 through a combined effort of the railroad, New York Department of Transportation, the Western New York and Pennsylvania Railroad, and the four counties in the study area. There are plans for a multi-modal transportation facility that would take advantage of both the railroad and the highway access provided by I-86. The nearest major airport to the region is in Buffalo, which is 70 miles from Jamestown in the western part of the region. Chautauqua County Jamestown Airport provides limited commercial passenger service to Cleveland, Ohio.
2.2 Community Character & Project Context
The four-county study area is in southwestern New York State and borders Pennsylvania to the south/southwest, and Lake Erie to the west. The region is rural, with a 2006 population of 361,651 people in 5,260 square miles (population density of 69 people per square mile.) The area is characterized by rolling hills and farmland. Major industries over the years have included auto parts manufacturing and steel production. Steuben County is home to Corning Incorporated, a world leader in the production of glass and ceramics.
Between 1976 and 2006, the region's population decreased by 6.5 % while employment grew by 20 %. Over the same period, the population of the New York State increased by 7.3 % and the state's employment grew by 34 %. Between 2001 and 2006, the region's population has decreased by 2.5 % and employment by 0.7 %. Recent declines reflect losses in manufacturing, particularly in industries that supply the automobile manufacturing sector. Some of these jobs have been replaced by increases in employment in tourism.
Interstate 86 through New York's Southern Tier was originally two-lane Route 17. From the initiation of the National Highway Interstate System in 1955, New York State hoped to have the route designated as the region's east-west interstate. The far western corner of New York's southern tier has long suffered from high unemployment and household incomes well below the state average. The region also lacked good highway access to serve businesses. In the 1960s, Route 17 was upgraded to a four-lane expressway. From the 1970s through the 1990s, the roadway was further developed as Corridor T of the Appalachian Highway System and renamed the Southern Tier Expressway. A major motivation for this upgrade was to stimulate economic growth in the region. The last section to be expanded to four lanes, between Chautauqua Lake west to the Pennsylvania, was completed in 1997. In 1998, with the passage of the Transportation Equity Act for the 21st Century, the highway was officially designated Interstate 86.
The highway upgrades were paid for by the New York Department of Transportation, the Appalachian Regional Commission and the Federal Highway Administration, for a total cost of $1.36 billion (1998$). Future plans call for Interstate 86 to run from Erie Pennsylvania to the New York Thruway (I-87) in Orange County, New York, a distance of 381 miles.
4.1 Transportation Impacts
The upgrading of NY Route 17 from a two-lane road to a four-lane freeway over a distance of 185 miles (including eight miles in Chemung County outside the study area) has resulted in travel time savings of between 30 and 40 minutes. The bridge built across Chautauqua Lake in Chautauqua County cut considerable travel time in the region because vehicles originally needed to circumvent the lake.
Interstate 86 now connects with Interstate 90 in Erie, Pennsylvania, providing a direct link to the west coast. In the east, I-86 connects with the newly opened New York portion of I-99, which provides freeway access to points south. The interstate has also opened up opportunities to develop a multi-modal facility in the region to provide a transfer point between truck and rail facilities.
In 2002, the average annual daily trips (AADT) on the highway were 13,023, with much higher volumes at the eastern and western ends of the highway than in the middle of the region. Between 1995 and 2001, AADT on the roadway increased by 11% (based on five data points). Points closer to intersections with major highways recorded increases in traffic, while some points without such intersections saw declines.
4.2 Demographic, Economic & Land Use Impacts
The study area has traditionally lagged behind many regions of New York in economic development. Its traditional manufacturing base has suffered as the U.S. steel and auto industries have foundered. The intent of upgrading NY Route 17 from a two-lane road to a four-lane interstate was to bolster the region's appeal as a business location.
To date, there have been some positive economic impacts associated with east-west interstate access through the western portion of the Southern Tier. Several industries have expanded in the region, many of which rely on good highway access for shipping goods. These include Cummins, Inc. (diesel engines) in Jamestown, Friendship Dairy (cheese) in Friendship, Alstom (energy conversion R&D) in Wellsville, and Corning, Inc. in Corning. Other new businesses have been attracted, such as Wagner Hardwoods (timber yard) in Friendship, DeMet's Candy Company in Steuben County, and SITEL (call center) in Erwin. Allegany County has not lost a single manufacturing firm in the past eight years.
The region has also used I-86 to boost and grow the tourism industry in the four counties. Several hotels, service stations, convenience stores, and restaurants have opened, as well as some retail establishments. The region is marketing its natural resources, colleges, the Corning Glass Museum, viticulture, outdoor recreation, the Chautauqua Institute and other assets to attract visitors, advertising the concept of ?one tank vacations? and ?stay-cations? to attract people from within a day's drive. In Angelica in Allegany County, an Irish company has purchased a 36-hole golf course and is expanding it to include a 250-seat banquet facility and 157 new homes, 50% of which will be marketed to Europeans and 50% to the domestic market. The prices will range from $175,000 to $350,000. The company is expected to invest $30-40 million in the project, which relies heavily on the interstate access. The Peek ?N Peak ski resort in Chautauqua County, which draws its customers from Ohio and Pennsylvania, also benefits from the highway access.
The Seneca Nation of Indians recently opened a new casino and hotel. While the project likely would have occurred regardless of the four-lane highway access, the Seneca did select a location in close proximity to an I-86 exit, and has likely expanded its market draw because of the access.
In Steuben County, planners and economic development officials have taken advantage of the new interchange between I-86 and future I-99 to develop a major commercial area that includes a WalMart, Home Depot, Applebee's, two car dealerships, two hotels and some office development. The Harley-Davidson super showroom in Chautauqua County is strategically located at an I-86 interchange to improve visibility.
Conservatively, at least 3,200 to 3,300 jobs have been created to date as a direct result of the upgrade of NY Route 17 to I-86. In addition, economic development specialists estimate that commercial land values near the highway have increased by between 50 and 300% depending on proximity to an interchange (although there is no noticeable impact on existing home prices.)
The region expects to continue reaping economic benefits from the highway. The Three Rivers Development Corporation, a non-profit economic development entity in Steuben County, is currently completing a study to identify 10-15 additional sites with interstate access to market for development. Allegany County has undertaken a major marketing and branding campaign for the six interchanges in that county, called the I-86 Exit Strategy. The campaign slogan is ?six exits that will change your life.? The County has also entered into an agreement with farmers for the purchase of 450 acres around the Bellevedere exit, to be called the Crossroads. A master plan for the area has been created, which includes a hotel, retail and office development and the County is now in discussions with several developers interested in pursuing the project at a price tag of approximately $25 million. All of the economic development agencies noted that they are actively marketing the interstate access as part of their businesses attraction strategy, and they strongly believe it is essential to putting them on the map for site selectors.
The economy of the Southern Tier West (Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Allegany Counties) has struggled for many years with the loss of heavy industry related to steel and auto manufacturing. Despite the highway access, it has been difficult to attract newer industries to the area. Steuben County has benefited from Corning, Inc., which has been in the region for generations. Corning has helped the county expand in the ceramics and fiber industries, which support technology-based industries. Steuben County also is benefiting from the recently-completed upgrades to Route 15 to interstate standards, and its renaming to Interstate 99. The area around the interchange between the two interstates has attracted significant development because of the north-south and east-west interstate access.
Allegany County is home to the Seneca Nation Indian Reservation. Because the reservation is not subject to New York State laws, it was able to build a gambling casino near I-86. The casino has been an important anchor for attracting tourism to the region, and has helped support new hotel development in the Southern Tier West area.
There are several Empire Zones (New York State's version of Enterprise Zones) in the study area, including in Jamestown and at the I-86 and I-99 interchange in Steuben County. These zones offer tax and other incentives to businesses that locate in them, enhancing the attractiveness of the area.
Utility rates in some of the communities are very competitive and have helped with business attraction. Conversely, in many locations near the interchanges there is no sewer or water service, limiting the ability to attract development.
Southern Tier West Regional Planning and Development Board
Southern Tier Central Planning and Development Board
Three Rivers Development Corporation
Corning Department of Planning and Economic Development
Greater Olean Chamber of Commerce
Allegany County Industrial Development Agency
New York Department of Transportation
Case Study Developed by Sue Moses & Associates