Saratoga County

Road project ready to begin

Contractors will start work today on a $2.3 million project constructing two new roundabouts on D


Contractors will start work today on a $2.3 million project constructing two new roundabouts on Dunning Street, at intersections in or near the Luther Forest housing development.

Meanwhile, state Department of Transportation plans to replace the Malta Avenue bridges over the Northway have been pushed back until 2010, in part because of the amount of road construction already under way around town.

“We try to coordinate with other projects,” said Craig Blake, DOT’s Malta Avenue project manager.

In a report to the Town Board Monday, Blake cited the $22 million Round Lake bypass and the $33 million in internal roads at the Luther Forest Tech Campus as two big construction projects now under way that will still be happening in 2009, when the bridge replacement was originally planned.

The bridges, heavily used by commuter traffic, are being replaced mostly because of age. The state-funded Dunning Street roundabout project, though, is about preparing for the increased traffic Malta will see as two technology parks develop.

The two new roundabouts should be completed by the end of November, town Comptroller Kevin T. King said. Plans for detours during the heaviest work are still being worked out.

The Town Board a month ago awarded a $2.3 million contract for the roundabouts to Delsignore Asphalt Paving of Troy.

The roundabouts will be at Fox Wander West-Partridge Drum, a main entrance to the Luther Forest housing development, and Hermes Road, the entrance to the growing Saratoga Technology and Energy Park.

Dunning Street is also heavily used by through traffic between Stillwater and the Northway, and officials contend the roundabouts will improve safety at the intersections by slowing drivers down.

King said the first activity residents will see, starting as soon as today, will be removal of trees where the road will be widened. Then National Grid and other utilities will have to relocate lines before road construction can start.

“Actual construction is around 12 weeks out,” King said.

He said project schedule information will be put on the town Web site.

Regarding the Malta Avenue bridges, Blake reported several changes have been made in response to comments received at a public meeting in January.

The two bridges, one over each direction of the Northway, were built in 1962. Work is expected to take about three months, starting in the spring and ending in late July 2010, Blake said.

In addition to delaying the project a year, DOT will encourage the use of Exit 12 and Route 67 as a detour to try to keep detour traffic off Old Post Road and other local roads. The road will be closed for the three months the bridge replacement is being done.

Blake said DOT has also added a 5-foot bicycle-pedestrian path to the bridge, to be separated from the traffic lanes and shoulders. That lane was in response to concerns that Malta Avenue is a popular weekend bicycle route likely to only grow more popular in the future.

“The bridge is being designed to last 75 years,” Blake said.

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