QUEENSBURY — Construction has started at the new state-of-the-art Adirondack welcome center between exits 17 and 18 northbound on the Northway.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office announced the plans in a news release with detailed sketches of the 8,615-square-foot building and plans for the 22-acre lot.
The rest area will be closed indefinitely until the welcome center work is complete, according to state Department of Transportation spokesman Joe Morrissey. Signage has been posted on the Northway to notify drivers.
Sen. Elizabeth Little, R-Queensbury, has been a proponent for the revitalization of the rest area, which serves as a gateway to the Adirondacks.
The roughly $2 million project struggled financially to get off the ground. Little secured $1 million in DOT funding in the state budget in 2016.
“Great hospitality starts with a great welcome. This improvement has been a longtime coming, so I am very eager to see the work begin,” Little said. “I am certain this new welcome center will very fittingly highlight so much of what our incredible region offers.”
Some of the new features include combining the two existing structures at the rest area using an Adirondack-inspired theme, highlighted by an Adirondack floor map and an I Love NY selfie wall with a decommissioned ski lift swing. Additional parking and a boat inspection and washing station will also be available, according to the news release.
I Love NY interactive kiosks will be available for travelers, showcasing local attractions and destinations throughout the Adirondack Park.
Other amenities will include an Adirondack fire tower-themed outdoor children’s play area with zip line, a fenced-in pet area, free Wi-Fi, picnic tables, electric vehicle charging stations and environmentally and energy-friendly utilities.
New York-based food and beverages will also be featured in vending machines for purchase. Also featured will be an Adirondack Walk of Fame.
The welcome center is slated to open in the fall.