Schenectady County

Traffic light planned for problem Niskayuna junction

Increased traffic at an intersection in Niskayuna has the county installing a traffic light, officia

Increased traffic at an intersection in Niskayuna has the county installing a traffic light, officials said.

Officials have been looking at a traffic light at the corner of Hillside and Providence avenues for several years now, but the project appears to be finally getting the go-ahead.

The Schenectady County Legislature approved the measure earlier this month. The Niskayuna Town Board also is considering its own work to Hillside Avenue, including a water main replacement, to coincide with the county traffic light project.

“There’s increased traffic on those roads and they just decided it was warranted to put in a traffic control signal to improve the flow of traffic at the intersection,” said Geoff Hall, clerk of the Legislature.

Hillside Avenue is the location of several apartment complexes. An $18.5 million U.S. Army Reserve Center is also going in at the Niskayuna Commerce Park on Hillside, replacing a smaller one. That is to be complete by the end of next year.

The county is currently awaiting bids from contractors, with work on the intersection expected to begin in the spring, Hall said.

The entire project is expected to cost just under $400,000. Utilities will need to be moved and other reconstruction work done to the intersection to get the light installed, officials said.

Of the total cost, 90 percent is to be reimbursed by federal funds. The county’s share is to be just under $40,000.

The project has been in the works since at least 2008. An effort that year appeared under way, but the light never materialized. Niskayuna Town Supervisor Joe Landry cited delays caused by a bankruptcy related to one of the adjacent properties.

The Town Board last week authorized hiring an engineering firm to design both the water main project and to include a multi-use path and repaving, Landry said. The design work can cost up to $70,000.

“There will be considerable savings by doing all of this at once,” Town Board member Denise Murphy McGraw said.

The traffic light will replace two stop signs on the Hillside approach to Providence. The second stop sign was added in 2007.

The second stop sign was put in place after a woman was killed at the intersection in March 2007. The woman was a passenger in a pickup truck that apparently passed through the Hillside Avenue stop sign and into the path of a vehicle on Providence. That accident happened at 11 p.m.

Neighbors also have said the intersection has been the location of many accidents.

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