Governor Hochul Announces Enhanced Speed Enforcement Along State Route 104 as $27.8 Million Project Begins

Government and Politics

April 17, 2024

From: New York Governor Kathy Hochul

Work Zones Along State Route 104 Topped Speeds of 100 Miles Per Hour Three Times in 2023

During National Work Zone Awareness Week, Governor Kathy Hochul on April 17th, highlighted State Route 104 within the Town of Irondequoit and City of Rochester, Monroe County, as a roadway that will be under intense scrutiny through the during the 2024 construction season. This announcement comes after the Department of Transportation’s Automated Work Zone Speed Enforcement program registered multiple motorists traveling at life-threatening speeds in excess of 100 miles per hour through work zones along the Route 104 corridor last year. Additionally, this enhanced and bolstered enforcement comes as the Department is beginning a $27.8 million project in the 2024 and 2025 construction seasons between Ridgeway Avenue in the City of Rochester and Culver Road in the Town of Irondequoit.

“As work begins on an important project along State Route 104, I implore motorists to take heed and follow the rules of the road in state operated work zones,” Governor Hochul said. “The recorded speeds in work zones along State Route 104 last year were nothing short of alarming and could have been potentially deadly for highway workers, which is why we will be stepping up enforcement along this corridor as construction season gets under way.”

Last year, the State Department of Transportation’s Automated Work Zone Speed Enforcement (AWZSE) program was deployed multiple times along State Route 104 and revealed some alarming statistics, including:

  • Motorists traveling through a work zone along State Route 104 recorded the program’s top three speeds: 139, 117, and 110 miles per hour.
  • The work zone along State Route 104 also witnessed a motorist-caused work zone intrusion where a vehicle crossed into construction and crashed into roadway signage. Fortunately, there were no injuries sustained.

“Operation Hardhat” will begin again in April in an effort to enforce vehicle and traffic laws in highway work zones. Under “Operation Hardhat”, State Troopers or local police officers are dressed as highway maintenance workers in active NYSDOT or Thruway work zones across New York, identifying and citing motorists for a number of violations, including disobeying flagging personnel, speeding through work zones, cell phone and seatbelt use, and/or violations of the State’s Move Over law. State Police has already committed to more Operation Hardhat deployments along the State Route 104 project in 2024.

As work begins on this $27.8 million project along State Route 104 in 2024 and 2025, among the enhancements to be delivered over this two-season construction project are:

  • Rehabilitation of 30.5 lane miles of pavement along the roadway, including service roads and ramps, between Ridgeway Avenue in the City of Rochester and Culver Road in the Town of Irondequoit.
  • New traffic signals along ramps and service roads throughout the project limits.
  • Modernized stormwater drainage to ensure roadway resiliency against the changing environment.
  • New American Disability Act-compliant curb ramps to enhance and better facilitate multi-modal transportation throughout the corridor.

The signal work, drainage, and curb ramps are slated for completion in the 2024 construction season. The full pavement rehabilitation work is slated for the 2025 construction season. At least one lane of traffic will be maintained in both the eastbound and westbound directions during construction and there will be no lane closures during the winter months. Full closures of various ramps and service roads within the project limits will be necessary to complete the work. Closures will occur at night to minimize impacts to the traveling public, detours will be posted, and closures will be communicated publicly as they are scheduled.

Locally, State Route 104 in the City of Rochester and Town of Irondequoit has region wide significance as it provides direct access to Rochester General Hospital, the largest facility of Rochester Regional Health, which is one of the major healthcare providers within the Finger Lakes Region. Both Operation Hardhat and AWZSE will be making a point of prioritizing work zones along State Route 104 until the message of work zone safety is clear.

On Monday, Governor Hochul announced that April 15 to 19 is Work Zone Awareness Week across New York State with the national theme or “Work Zones are temporary. Actions behind the wheel can last forever.” The Automated Work Zone Speed Enforcement program operated by the State Department of Transportation and the Thruway Authority will continue this construction season as will “Operation Hardhat,” a work zone enforcement program carried out by state and local law enforcement agencies. Additionally, the State Department of Transportation will be launching a public awareness campaign on social media to raise awareness of the dangers highway workers face every day in work zones. Video available here. The Governor’s press release includes quotes from stakeholders and organized labor about the importance of National Work Zone Awareness Week.

State Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez said, “I am personally grateful for the incredible efforts that highway maintenance workers in every region of the state put forward - that is why their safety, is my highest priority. At NYSDOT, we will continue to do everything we can to protect our team members, because they are members of our DOT family – whether they are working along State Route 104 in Rochester or the Long Island Expressway, but our workers cannot effectively deliver the transportation investments across New York State if they are not safe – period. To motorists traveling along the State Route 104 corridor, you are forewarned: we will be stepping up enforcement and if you break the law, there will be consequences.”

New York State Police Superintendent Steven G. James said, “All too often, our Troopers witness the tragedies that result when a driver ignores speed limits along our state roadways and attempts to drive too fast through a work zone. Safety is our priority, and we urge all drivers to continue to do their part by staying alert and slowing down. Our Troopers will be vigilant in enforcing the rules of the road and violators will be ticketed. We are committed to creating safer work zones and protecting those who must work along our roadways.”

State Senator Samra Brouk said, “The hard-working individuals of the New York State Department of Transportation deserve safe work environments while they work to maintain the quality of our local infrastructure. National Work Zone Awareness Week reminds us that we must all take care to follow work zone speed limits, and I look forward to ongoing collaboration with the Department of Transportation, and my colleagues in the legislature, to ensure the safety of all workers in New York State.”

Assemblymember Sarah Clark said, "As we enter the second year of a state legislature approved pilot program to better enforce safety in work zones, I am grateful Governor Hochul and Department of Transportation are prioritizing speed enforcement along route 104. This roadway provides critical access between Irondequoit and the city of Rochester, and the incredibly dangerous speeds that some motorists are carelessly exhibiting directly threatens overall safety and especially that of our construction workers. During National Work Zone Awareness week, may we all take the time to be more conscientious of our driving habits for the safety of everyone."

Monroe County Executive Adam Bello said, “Infrastructure projects like our work on Route 104 are vital to the community, but we must ensure that workers are safe, especially when they are working along busy roadways. It’s shocking to learn how often motorists disregard the safety of workers and drive at dangerously high speeds through these active work zones. I applaud Governor Hochul’s commitment to increased speed enforcement along this busy corridor during the upcoming construction season. It will ensure the work can be completed and help ensure everyone, workers, and motorists, get home safely.”

Town of Irondequoit Supervisor Andrae Evans said, “We’re highly appreciative of the Governor’s investment in State Route 104 between the City of Rochester and the Town of Irondequoit. As our highway workers invest their time and effort into bettering our roads, we should be prioritizing their safety while they do their jobs. This is high-risk work, and too often, drivers do not consider that. It is important that we educate members of the public on exactly what the dangers of speeding and distracted driving are for our workers. We anticipate these much-needed improvements.”

UNiCON Executive Director Joseph Morelle Jr. said, "Every day, men, and women from across New York State work hard to ensure safe roads for all those who travel. These dedicated individuals deserve nothing less than to return home at the end of their shift to their loved ones. Governor Hochul and Commissioner Dominguez have and continue to put resources to ensure safe roads as well as protecting the people who work on them. As the highway road work construction season picks up, we all must do our part to be aware of work zones and avoid risky behavior behind the wheel. Programs such as Operation Hardhat and Automated Work Zone Speed Enforcement will make people think twice and slow down to make for safer working conditions and ultimately safer roads.”

All construction activities are weather dependent. Motorists 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.

For real-time travel information, motorists should call 511 or visit www.511NY.org, New York State’s official traffic and travel information source. Follow New York State DOT on Twitter at @NYSDOT and @NYSDOTRochester. Find us on Facebook at facebook.com/nysdot.