Saratoga County

DOT starts Route 67 bridge project

Tracy Serbalik was surprised to see orange cones and detour signs outside of her Main Street tann

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Tracy Serbalik was surprised to see orange cones and detour signs outside of her Main Street tanning salon on Tuesday.

The detour is part of a $5.7 million state Department of Transportation repair project on the Route 67 bridge that carries motorists between Mechanicville and Schaghticoke.

The problem is nobody told her that the detour was starting on Tuesday, she said.

“I think that they could have come to the business owners that were going to be affected by this and said, ‘this is what we’re going to do,’ so we could let our customers know that it was going to happen,” she said.

The detour redirects northbound traffic on Main Street onto a side street several hundred yards south of the Route 67 bridge.

Cars take a left onto the side street and then make a right onto Central Avenue.

After traveling on Central Avenue, drivers can make another pair of right turns to get back onto Main Street southbound to approach the bridge into Schaghticoke.

A sign directing cars around the bridge from the south states the road is closed to local traffic only.

However, business owners are concerned that people won’t bother using the stretch of Main Street in an effort to avoid the area altogether.

“There’s going to be a lot of traffic that they’re cutting right off,” said Kimberly Plasse, who owns a variety store several hundred yards south of the detour.

“A lot of people from Schaghticoke would come down through here and go over the bridge. They’re not going to do that now.”

Serbalik’s Caribbean Sun tanning salon and Bucciero’s Pizzeria are two of the several businesses on Main Street between the side street detour and the bridge.

Serbalik’s husband, City Attorney Val Serbalik, owns the building that houses both the Caribbean Sun and Bucciero’s and a nearby law office on Main Street.

Dominic Bucciero said that his main concern is lunchtime customers having access to his restaurant.

“They never really gave us a heads up to what was going on,” Bucciero said. “That really sucks.”

The detour is going to be in place until the project is completed in December, according to DOT spokesman Peter Van Keuren.

Business owners are understandably frustrated, but the detour the state chose is the safest for motorists and workers, according to Van Keuren.

“We know we’re going to impact somebody with any work we do,” he said. “It’s not an easy location.”

City and state police were on hand Tuesday and Wednesday to help direct traffic.

All but one lane of Main Street is blocked off just south of the bridge and any motorists who attempt to make a right onto the bridge from Mechanicville could be ticketed, police said. Police said at least one person was stopped Wednesday after trying to turn right onto the bridge from Main Street.

Officials hope that the intersection won’t be a problem once people get used to the detour.

Van Keuren said that state police will be at the bridge today and Friday from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

“The reason we contract with the state police is just for safety sake and just to keep the work zone safe, not only for workers but also for motorists,” Van Keuren said.

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