New York State DOT Completes Intersection Improvement Featuring First-In-State Design

VOLNEY – New York State Department of Transportation Acting Commissioner Paul Karas today October 31) announced the completion of a $1.9 million intersection modernization in the town of Volney, featuring a design that is the first of its kind in New York State.
The innovative Restricted Crossing U-Turn intersection at State Route 481 and County Route 45 enhances safety and eases traffic flow at the busy crossroads.
The intersection improvements will also greatly benefit The Manor at Seneca Hill, a nearby nursing home and assisted living facility, as most visitors and staff use the intersection of Route 481 and Route 45 for easy, direct access.
“Safety is our top priority and the innovative approach taken at routes 481 and 45 in Oswego County is an example of the state’s progressive thinking when it comes to public safety and roadway improvements,” Karas said. “Governor Cuomo is making smart investments in transportation infrastructure across New York State and the modern new intersection in Volney will keep traffic moving, supporting the Central New York economy so that it continues to rise.”
The intersection design enhances safety and traffic operations by changing how minor road traffic crosses or turns left at a major road.
At a Restrictive Crossing U-Turn, which is considered a legal U-Turn, drivers stopped at the minor road waiting to cross or turn left no longer navigate a complex intersection of two directions of traffic, often traveling at high speeds.
Instead, all minor road traffic makes a right turn followed by a U-turn at a designated location.
This type of intersection reduces the number of potential vehicle conflicts, but does not change any of the movements that are possible from the major road.
The change significantly reduces the risk of right-angle crashes at the intersection.
Prior to the redesign, crossing the six-lanes of Route 481 was difficult because of limited sight distance, high speeds and a wide center median.
The new intersection features two U-turns newly constructed in the median of Route 481, one just north of the intersection with Route 45 and one just south of the intersection.
All traffic on Route 45 is now required to turn right at the intersection with Route 481 with the following options:
? Traffic heading east on Route 45 will be directed to turn right onto Route 481 southbound. Motorists can then proceed southbound on Route 481 or use the U-turn to access Route 481 northbound. They can then head north or take a right turn onto Route 45 to continue heading east.
? Traffic heading west on Route 45 will be directed to turn right onto Route 481 northbound. Motorists can then proceed northbound or use the U-turn to access Route 481 southbound. They can then head south or take a right turn onto Route 45 to continue heading west.
Assemblyman Will Barclay said, “The new configuration of this intersection on 481 addresses long-time safety concerns. I am glad the DOT made this section of 481 in Volney a priority this year and happy to see it is completed before winter. The work will be a benefit to motorists for years to come. “
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Accelerating CNY Rising
Today’s announcement complements “Central NY Rising,” the region’s comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development.
The state has already invested more than $5.6 billion in the region since 2012 to lay the groundwork for the plan – capitalizing on global market opportunities, strengthening entrepreneurship and creating an inclusive economy.
Today, unemployment is down to the lowest levels since before the Great Recession; personal and corporate income taxes are down; and businesses are choosing places like Syracuse, Oswego and Auburn as a destination to grow and invest in.
Now, the region is accelerating Central NY Rising with a $500 million state investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, announced by Governor Cuomo in December 2015.
The state’s $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion – and the region’s plan, as submitted, projects up to 5,900 new jobs.


  1. DOT may be proud of it and believe it safer, but what about a bunch of folks that use CR 45? They now avoid the intersection and go to the next road to the north that is more dangerous with hills and curves with drop-offs on both sides. To cross 481 now you need to turn right, cross 2 lanes of traffic, make a u turn and go back to CR 45 and turn right on to it. I don’t remember hearing of a lot of accidents on this intersection prior to this modification. Seems like a poor idea in my opinion, and will probably have negative results for a large group of people that travel on CR 45 every morning and night.

  2. I agree with Grumpy. Looks stupid and it actually appears more dangerous. If I head north or south to turn around I have to cross two lanes to get to the turn around then cross two more to turn onto 45…stupid. it was fine the way it was if (drivers) had been patient and not try to put two or three cars deep in the intersections at 45 and 481. Thanks for wasting all that money

  3. Poor design, it may have worked on paper but try actually driving it. Entering the intersection is confusing, at the stop sign you have to look back over your shoulder because of the angle of the approach.
    ( possibly D.O.T. over looked the fact that many of the visitors and patients of Seneca Manor are of the elderly variety and make this difficult for them. )
    Crossing two lanes waiting at the next stop sign crossing two lanes again. What happens when all the road markings are covered by snow and poor visibility?
    I guess that’s why smarter people than I are in charge of design.
    Thanks Andy and engineers. We need another four years of Andy’s regin.
    I’m guessing we’ll see a reduction in accidents at that intersection since I and others who use rte 45 will avoid this and use Dutch Ridge or March rd.

  4. Scary situation created for all. Be careful going through Dutch ridge roller coaster and the blind intersection at 53 when the snowbanks get up. Take your time people.

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