Saratoga County

Info session set on Saratoga Springs road widening plan

Plans for a $1.4 million project to widen a hazardous section of Ballston Avenue between Hamilton St

Plans for a $1.4 million project to widen a hazardous section of Ballston Avenue between Hamilton Street and Lincoln Avenue will be the subject of an informational meeting this week.

The city and the state Department of Transportation are planning the improvements using Federal Highway Administration funding, said Peter Faith, a traffic engineer with the city’s project consultants, Greenman-Pedersen Inc. of Albany.

The federal government is providing $1.38 million for the project and the city is contributing $70,000.

The work will include not just roadway improvements but also pedestrian safety improvements, such as a sidewalk along the east side of Ballston Avenue in this area.

The public information meeting will be held at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the city’s indoor recreation center at 15 Vanderbilt Ave.

City police say the stretch of Ballston Avenue between Hamilton and Lincoln is the site of numerous accidents each year, including one Monday afternoon. That crash resulted in only one minor injury, according to Lt. Sean Briscoe of the Saratoga Springs Police Department.

Faith said the project will include the widening and resurfacing of Ballston Avenue.

A center median left-turn lane will also be installed for vehicles going north and south. A new traffic signal will be installed at the intersection of Ballston and Lincoln avenues, Faith said.

The project will start at the intersection with Lincoln Avenue and extend 0.27 miles to the intersection with Hamilton Street.

The purpose of the information meeting is to outline the project for the public and obtain comments on the proposed design from individuals, groups, public officials and local agencies.

Objectives of the project include:

Correct safety deficiencies using cost-effective accident reduction measures, such as the turn-lane medians and new traffic signal.

Provide improved pedestrian facilities, including a pedestrian activated traffic light and sidewalks along the east side of Ballston Avenue where there is currently no sidewalk.

Improve traffic flow in this area and reduce traffic delays.

Faith said a draft project design, based in part on comments at Thursday’s meeting, will be completed in November and a final design completed in January.

The design is scheduled to be approved by the state in March with final plans completed by August 2013.

The project will be put out for bids in September 2013 with construction starting in the spring of 2014.

Faith and Tim Wales, the city’s engineer, will attend Thursday’s information meeting.

“The meeting will be informal,” Faith said. He said interested parties can look at the exhibits and ask questions between 6:30 and 7 p.m.

At 7 p.m. Faith will give a half-hour presentation after which more one-on-one questions and concerns will be entertained.

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