Thruway stop

RANDALL – A new Thruway rest stop area aimed at helping to promote tourism along the Mohawk River is being constructed this summer in Montgomery County.

The rest stop is being built at milepost 187 on the New York state Thruway I-90 westbound, inbetween exits 28, Fultonville, and 29, Canajoharie. The stop will be located in the hamlet of Randall, which is in the northeast corner of the town of Root.

Shane Mahar, Deputy Communications Director for the NYS Thruway Authority and Canal Corporation, said in a news release that the cost for the rest stop project is approximately $7.2 million and is part of Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s “Path Through History” initiative

“Located along one of the most scenic sections of the Erie Canal and Mohawk River, this rest area will represent the physical connection between the two transportation corridors which helped build the Empire State – the Erie Canal and the Thruway,” Mahar stated in the news release.

The rest stop, which will only be accessible to westbound traffic, will not feature a gas station or restaurants – instead it will have a visitors center with restrooms, vending machines, interpretive displays featuring information about the history of the Erie Canal and additional parking space for trucks.

The rest stop will also include a trail that will give the public access to Lock E-13, which is currently closed to the public.

Mark Kilmer, the president of the Fulton Montgomery Regional Chamber of Commerce, said emphasizing the Mohawk River is going to be a major part of the chamber’s efforts to promote tourism in Montgomery County.

“I think the river has been underutilized as a marketing point for our tourism in the county. This rest stop will be a great thing for our local economy because when you are advertising any type of venues or tourism opportunities for people on the Thruway that could entice them to get off at the next exit [that]will be a benefit to Montgomery County,” Kilmer said. “The Locks [on the Erie Canal] are really great parks that people can go to for picnics or fishing. I think the value there is how we market Montgomery County’s venues and tourism opportunities, and now with the anticipated finish of the [Mohawk Valley] Gateway Overlook [Pedestrian Bridge] in Amsterdam, they can do a lot of promotion for that too. We will do everything we can at this rest stop to promote our regional venues.”

Mahar said construction of the rest stop is expected to be completed in November.