Route 209 closing for filming of HBO miniseries starring Mark Ruffalo

Rt. 209 will be closed from Sawkill Rd. (above) to Rt. 28. (Photo by Will Dendis)

The first round in a series of brief road closures on Route 209 related to the filming of an HBO series is set to take place later this month. The closures are due to filming of a miniseries based on Wally Lamb’s best-selling 1998 novel I Know This Much is True.

Earlier this year, the Ulster Town Board backed a request by HBO to shut down four miles of Route 209 between Sawkill Road and Route 28 to accommodate filming of scenes set several decades ago. Because the film is a period piece, the closure will affect traffic in both directions to ensure a 21st century automobile doesn’t find its way into scenes set in the mid-20th century.


The closures will occur on Monday, April 22 and Tuesday, April 23 from around 5 a.m. until 7 p.m., with the understanding that if filming is completed earlier than the end time, the roads would open earlier. The production is working with the state Department of Transportation to install portable variable message signs indicating the closure, as well as detours along Sawkill Road.

The miniseries, set to star local favorite Mark Ruffalo as a pair of troubled identical twins, takes place over several decades in the 20th century. Ruffalo, perhaps best known for his portrayal of physicist Bruce Banner, a.k.a. the Hulk, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe film series and a supporter of many local causes, will also co-produce the miniseries. The production is also shooting on location in Poughkeepsie and other Dutchess spots.

The scene as described by the production for April 22 and 23 involves “a school bus taking kids on a school field trip is pulled over on the shoulder of the interstate when it is discovered a kid is locked in the bathroom. Period cars driving by, possibly in both directions. Possibly one direction.”

Closures are also planned for Monday, June 3 and Thursday, August 1: “Our hero characters, both played by Ruffalo on two different days, pull over on the [sic] interstate. Period cars driving by. Stunt: An actor runs across both (sides) of the highway and median and ends up in a field nearby. Stunt: A daydream in which one of the brothers is hit by a car. Ideally looking for a stretch that we could drive on for 3-5 minutes before the pullover.”