Schenectady County

Dirt removed from Balltown Road slope put to good use

The Galesi Group is trucking tons of fill to its Alco redevelopment site from a slope stabilization

The Galesi Group is trucking tons of fill to its Alco redevelopment site from a slope stabilization project off Balltown Road near the Rexford Bridge.

Galesi is obtaining fill from J.H. Maloy, a general contractor under a $1.2 million contract with the state Department of Transportation. Galesi Chief Operating Officer David Buicko would not disclose the terms of the contract.

Carol Breen, spokeswoman for the state Department of Transportation, said Maloy is free to do with the dirt as it sees fit. “We want it out of there, and they can do with it what they will,” she said.

Breen said Maloy is excavating 78,600 cubic meters of dirt from the state-owned property. She said 10 to 12 trucks a day leave the site with their loads.

As part of the project, Maloy is also removing dozens of trees. It plans to plant the slope with smaller trees and grass.

Buicko said he and Maloy have worked together before. “The Alco project is in a flood plain, and this is an opportunity to bring in good fill. Transportation-wise, it is close to us,” he said.

Galesi tests each truckload of fill for contamination before accepting it at the 60-acre site off Erie Boulevard. The dirt is being bulldozed into huge mounds and at some point will be spread over the site to a depth of 4 feet.

“We are stockpiling it. When we need fill, we can use some of it and we do not have to purchase more,” Buicko said. “It is the ultimate recycling,” he added.

Galesi expects to use fill for the brownfield remediation project, which has been approved by the state Department of Environmental Conservation. It plans to build condominiums along the Mohawk River, as well as offices and retail outlets on the site, a former industrial park.

Maloy is also supplying dirt to Niskayuna for free, said Niskayuna Supervisor Joe Landry. “We always have use for clean fill, and it is good dirt,” he said.

The town is using its own trucks to haul in the fill for storage behind Blatnick Park. It will use the fill after fixing water main breaks and for road construction purposes.

“The contractor has to get rid of it, or they can give it to the town,” Landry said.

Breen said the slope stabilization project is part of a larger $11.7 million project including the reconstruction of Glenridge Road.

“The hill has been slowly shifting, and we tried to address it with a retaining wall at least 10 years ago. The wall is not failing, but there is pressure on the wall, and this should stop all the movement,” she said.

Nothing from the hill has fallen onto Route 146, Breen said: “We have not seen that problem at all, but it is shifting ever so slowly and we want to address it.”

Breen said the state has soil engineers who check different slopes and measure movement as a way to spot problems before they become serious.

The stabilization project began in early summer and should be completed in November, Breen said.

Both Landry and Breen said they have received calls about the hill project.

“A lot of people do not understand what is happening, that it is a slope stabilization project,” Landry said. “They think it is a town project. Most of the calls are curiosity, and to best of my ability I explain it to them and then direct them to the state,” he said.

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