WILMINGTON - Whiteface Mountain Veterans Memorial Highway will soon be repaired.
The $11.2 million job was awarded to Rifenburg Construction Inc., of Albany. State funding is coming from the NY Works program.
The highway improvement project will involve the full, 8-mile length of the highway, also known as state Route 431, from Route 86 at Wilmington's four corners to a castle near the mountain's summit.
At right is the Toll House for the Whiteface Mountain Veterans Memorial Highway as seen on Friday, April 25. The sign here says it’s set to open May 16, although construction announced Friday could potentially affect that. (Photo — Andy Flynn)
Construction planning will begin soon, and a field office will be established. The work is expected to begin later this spring, depending on the weather.
The project is planned to continue into next year. The proposal submitted by Rifenburg calls for completing the project up to six months before the required December 2015 end date.
The driving surface will be rehabilitated, and rock walls will be fixed. The highway will be brought back to its original design, restoring 10-foot wide travel lanes and 2-foot paved shoulders as well as resetting quarry stone barrier stones along the road. Work will also be done to the castle, improving the septic system and replacing the water line.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in a press release that the highway is a vital asset for the North Country, drawing in tourism.
"But for too long Albany ignored the fact that this highway had fallen into disrepair," Cuomo said. "By awarding this contract just six months after our administration committed to funding the necessary repairs, we are moving quickly to restore one of New York's most scenic roadways."
The highway opened in 1935. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.