Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that parts of the New York State Thruway in Western New York will be closed due to extreme winter weather conditions. The Thruway between Exit 55 (Route 219/Lackawanna/Springville/Orchard Park/West Seneca) and Exit 61 (Shortman Road, Ripley) will be closed to commercial vehicles at 3PM today. Starting at 8 PM, all vehicles traveling westbound on the Thruway will be detoured off the roadway at Exit 50 (I-290 west), and all eastbound traffic will be detoured off at Exit 61 (Shortman Road, Ripley).
In addition, at the Governor’s direction, the State Emergency Operations Center will be opened at 8PM tonight based on the forecasted winter weather conditions in Buffalo and Western New York.
The closure is a precautionary measure due to an extraordinary winter weather event that is forecast to include 36 inches of snow in the coming day-and-a-half, lake effect snows in some areas up to four inches per hour, wind gusts up to 40 mph and wind chill temperatures as low as 40 degrees below zero. The Thruway in this area will be reopened when conditions allow.
Motorists to Pennsylvania and points west should exit the Thruway at exit 46 (Henrietta) to I-390 southbound and then to I-86 westbound into Pennsylvania. Eastbound travelers in Pennsylvania should exit at I-86 eastbound and then continue north on I-390 to the Thruway in Henrietta.