With the aim being to alleviate congestion at the point where motorists transition between Interstates 84 and 87 near Newburgh, New York, the New York State Thruway Authority and New York State Department of Transportation began the initial stages of planning for the Thruway’s new Exit 17 interchange. The year was 1999.
As with any project of such complexity and magnitude, the construction process was long—almost 10 years from conception thru completion—and there were many costs beyond the mere building of the ramps. A good example is the eight new buildings at that location. They accounted for $2.4 million of the project’s nearly $140 million price tag. Some of them were constructed as replacements to existing buildings that happened to be in the way of the bulldozers—primarily highway maintenance buildings—and others were new to the location—such as the toll plazas and the State Police post.
The buildings have varied functions but are tied together by the materials utilized for their construction—including three different types of metal roof panel systems, all manufactured by Firestone Building Products and installed by WB Roofing and Sheet Metal, Inc.
Appearance, durability and sustainability were all cited as reasons for the decision to go with metal. Located near the Catskill Mountains, the eight buildings at Exit 17 are subjected to very harsh winter weather. Despite this, their metal roofs are expected to look good and last a long time. And when they reach the end of their useful service life, the metal can be recycled rather than discarded in a landfill.
Providing design services for the buildings at Exit 17—comprising 79,600 sq. ft. of construction—was the New York City office of Parsons Brinckerhoff Quade & Douglas, Inc. The Rochester, NY-based Pike Company was the project’s general contractor.
The selection of WB Roofing and Sheet Metal, Schenectady, NY, as the installing contractor for the metal panel systems was based on the company’s application approach and history of tackling difficult designs. And that experience paid off as the degree of radius on the lower side of the canopy roofs was initially causing deformation of the specified double-lock standing seam roof panels. WB Roofing recognized the problem and recommended the switch to a similar looking panel featuring snap-on seams instead.
Firestone profiles used on the various buildings were the company’s UC-6RS Panel, HR-Ultra Omega Panel and UC-3 Panel, all with a Charcoal Gray, Kynar 500 paint finish. Construction on the buildings was completed in January 2010. Individual structures making up the project included a toll utility building, toll plazas, covered walkways between the plazas, a road maintenance building, two new salt sheds, a vehicle storage building and a State Police building.
Photography: Architectural Photography & Design, Inc.