Schenectady County

Freemans Bridge Road work planned for new Lowe’s

Drivers on Freemans Bridge Road in the coming months may encounter some closed lanes because of road

Drivers on Freemans Bridge Road in the coming months may encounter some closed lanes because of roadwork in connection with the Lowe’s project.

Road construction will start in May, according to Rob Jess, site development manager for Lowe’s. The company is widening a stretch of Freemans Bridge Road from Maple Avenue to the railroad crossing as part of the project to build its 157,000-square-foot store.

Jess said project officials do not have an exact start date yet because they are waiting for Verizon officials to relocate their fiber-optic line. The road project should take about four months.

Lowe’s officials are targeting a late 2009 opening or perhaps January.

“We’d like to open it sooner if we can,” he said.

The new store will employ about 175 people, about 70 percent of them full-timers.

Jess said Lowe’s officials are also waiting for the state Department of Environmental Conservation to sign off on a groundwater contamination management plan. A plume of perchloroethylene, an industrial solvent commonly used by dry cleaners, was found at the site, so it needs to be contained.

“There is no hazard to the public,” Jess said.

Kelley Kircher, project engineer for Creighton Manning Engineering, said the widened roadway would include a center lane for left turns in both directions. Drivers will access Lowe’s by a new road called Lowe’s Drive that will have a traffic signal.

There will be a dedicated left-turn lane on the approach to get to Lowe’s Drive as well as crosswalks.

For safety reasons, some of the businesses on Freemans Bridge Road will be restricted to right turns only from their driveway upon the completion of this project because they are so close to the new intersection.

However, Kircher said, those businesses along that stretch of Freemans Bridge Road, which include Glenville Beverage and the Supersuds coin-operated laundry, will have agreements to access each other’s property, so people could travel through the parking lots to get to Lowe’s Drive and the traffic signal to make a left turn.

Bob Smialek, highway contractor for J.H. Maloy, said the work will likely start near the Dunkin’ Donuts and proceed north toward the railroad crossing. Crews will start on one side of the road while allowing traffic flow on the other side.

Jess said Lowe’s is actually making more improvements to the road than the increased traffic to the new store would require. He said people will be happy with the finished product.

“This project is going to be awesome for traffic flow as well as for all the business owners,” he said.

Meanwhile, the little white house that sat alone on the Lowe’s site over the past several months was finally demolished Thursday. Town officials had fielded many questions since late last year about why it was still there. The answer: It was atop the chemical contamination area.

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