Saratoga County

Traffic barrier short-lived in Malta

The barricade to prevent GlobalFoundries Fab 8 workers from using Hermes Road and cutting through a

The barricade to prevent GlobalFoundries Fab 8 workers from using Hermes Road and cutting through a residential area to get to and from work lasted only a day.

The road was barricaded for a few hours Thursday afternoon, but state police told the town today that the barrier wasn’t legal.

Thursday’s use of a barrier manned by a security guard had generated complaints from drivers, from some local businesses and from GlobalFoundries, town Supervisor Paul Sausville said.

The situation blocked the roundabout and backed up traffic almost all the way to the factory, according to a GlobalFoundries spokesman.

“We had a meeting with state police at the site of the barricade, and after discussion with state police and GlobalFoundries, I decided not to put up the barriers,” Sausville said late today.

However, that is going to mean more GlobalFoundries employees and construction workers cutting through Hermes Road to Dunning Street, which runs through the Luther Forest housing development — a shortcut town officials hoped the barrier would discourage.

The through-traffic has been growing for months, but the situation has been brought to a head by Thursday’s closing of Stonebreak Road for construction of a new roundabout. Stonebreak had the preferred route for most drivers trying to reach the GlobalFoundries computer chip plant construction site.

A new main entrance for GlobalFoundries opened earlier this week on Route 67 near Round Lake, but using it adds at least four miles to the drive of someone headed north.

Realizing the change in traffic pattern would tempt people to use the Hermes Road shortcut, the Town Board on July 21 declared an emergency and authorized installing the barrier. It was in place from about 3 to 6 p.m. Thursday, but state police asked to meet with Sausville today.

“There just may not be a legal way to do what we want to do,” Sausville said after the meeting with a state police lieutenant.

At the noon hour today, with no barrier in place, a long string of vehicles leaving GlobalFoundries was turning onto Hermes Road.

Sausville said he observed the same thing while at the roundabout Friday afternoon.

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