Saratoga County

Barrier proposed for Malta’s Hermes Road

The town may ask that a temporary barrier be erected on Hermes Road to stop an expected increase in

The town may ask that a temporary barrier be erected on Hermes Road to stop an expected increase in through-traffic between the Luther Forest residential development and GlobalFoundries.

The Town Board will hold a special meeting Thursday morning to discuss the barrier as a way of stopping through-traffic coming off Dunning Street while a construction project temporarily closes Stonebreak Road, the current main access to GlobalFoundries.

Town Supervisor Paul Sausville said he hopes a consensus can be reached at Thursday’s meeting.

“We’ll be meeting to talk about the closure, installation of a barrier and possibly guards,” he said.

The barrier could be in place as early as next week. It could be there for two or three months, while the Stonebreak Road entrance to GlobalFoundries is closed for construction of a new roundabout.

Residents along Dunning Street have been complaining about higher levels of traffic, and town officials fear it will get worse while Stonebreak Road is closed.

Hermes Road isn’t a public road, but a private road owned by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority. NYSERDA has agreed to listen to the town’s idea, but hasn’t yet agreed to allow any kind of barrier.

“We actually have no position yet on this idea. We’re going to attend the special meeting at 8:15 a.m. Thursday, listen to what the town has to say and take it from there,” said NYSERDA spokesman Alan Wechsler.

Hermes Road provides access to the NYSERDA-owned Saratoga Technology + Energy Park, where more than 300 people now work — but it continues through to a roundabout that can be used to reach GlobalFoundries.

Sausville acknowledged any system would need to allow employees who work at STEP to go through, even if an attendant is telling people going to GlobalFoundries to turn around.

The goal of any barrier will be to discourage people using Hermes Road as a shortcut to GlobalFoundries.

Some people already do. Town officials fear more drivers will do it while Stonebreak Road is closed, which will be starting late next week.

“[Dunning Street] goes right through a residential neighborhood, and we don’t want any additional traffic there at all,” Sausville said.

From Dunning Street, Hermes Road runs through to the Luther Forest Technology Campus, where GlobalFoundries now employs more than 400 people at its Fab 8 computer chip plant, which is under construction.

Already, according to a traffic survey done by the town Planning Department, about 39 percent of GlobalFoundries traffic is using Hermes Road at peak evening traffic hours.

The new main entrance to the technology campus will open early next week, but town officials fear drivers coming from the north and accustomed to using Stonebreak will seek out the Hermes Road shortcut rather than drive two miles farther south to use the new entrance.

On Monday, Sausville didn’t have a cost for installing a barrier on Hermes, but said he hopes the state Department of Transportation will cover the cost.

The main tech campus entrance and the Stonebreak Road roundabout are both being built by Kubricky Construction of Queensbury under a $3 million DOT contract.

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