The Malta Town Board today approved emergency plans to barricade one end of Hermes Road to reduce through-traffic between the Luther Forest housing development and GlobalFoundries.
The barrier at the Stonebreak and Hermes roads roundabout will be temporary, in place for two or three months while Stonebreak Road west of the roundabout is closed for construction of another roundabout. But board members also hope their measure will help address a larger problem with increased traffic on Dunning Street, the main road through the huge Luther Forest housing development.
Dunning Street, together with Hermes Road, is a potential shortcut to GlobalFoundries and the Luther Forest Technology Campus, but the town has consistently tried to discourage that.
The barrier, which could be in place by late next week, would be the concrete kind already seen at the technology campus, in which two cement construction barriers are set across the road at staggered intervals, discouraging motorists but allowing them to weave between them. At least initially, someone will be stationed at the barricade to explain alternatives to drivers.
Town Supervisor Paul Sausville said the details will be left to engineers and the town Highway Department.
The issue is coming to a head now because a major change is about to occur in how people reach GlobalFoundries and the technology campus. Until now, Stonebreak Road off Route 9 has been the designated primary entrance for tech campus traffic, though a significant number of people have been using Dunning Street and Hermes Road.
But early next week, the new main entrance to the tech campus will open on Route 67 near Round Lake. Shortly afterward, Stonebreak Road will be closed so a second main campus entrance roundabout, at Route 9 and Stonebreak, can be built.
The town’s concern is that people coming from Saratoga Springs and points north won’t be willing to drive the additional two miles south to the Route 67 entrance but will use Dunning Street instead.
Residents of the Dunning Street area have been complaining for months about increased traffic from GlobalFoundries, and Town Attorney Tom Peterson described the situation at times as “gridlock.” That could worsen, he said, and justifies the Town Board’s action.