Building a new road to GlobalFoundries within the Luther Forest Technology Campus could address traffic problems occurring outside the campus, town officials believe.
Town officials have started planning for a 3,700-foot road that would run from an unfinished roundabout on Cordero Boulevard in Stillwater through wooded land to the main entrance of GlobalFoundries Fab 8 in Malta.
The new road would make the Route 67 entrance to the campus a more direct route to GlobalFoundries. The goal would be to divert thousands of workers who now find secondary roads more convenient, and relieve problems that traffic is causing on the secondary roads.
GlobalFoundries also supports the project, which would create an additional access point to the factory’s main entrance.
“If you look at the campus and say, ‘How can we get traffic to move as best it can?’ this is the key,” said Thomas Roohan, president of the Luther Forest Technology Campus Economic Development Corp., which owns the property.
Building the connector between Cordero Boulevard and GlobalFoundries would reduce traffic pressure on Cold Springs Road in Stillwater, he said — particularly on a separate entrance off Cold Springs now used for construction traffic.
With 3,025 permanent workers at GlobalFoundries and about as many construction workers coming daily to the site, nearby residents have complained about the amount of traffic on Knapp Road and some of the other small roads that lead to the Cold Springs Road entrance.
The main entrance to the Luther Forest campus off Route 67 was designed for large volumes of traffic, but it has never seen those volumes because access to GlobalFoundries from there is indirect. For GlobalFoundries, the road would provide an alternative route to Stonebreak Road, which was originally envisioned as a secondary entrance.
“It is necessary,” said J. Gregory Connors, GlobalFoundries’ government relations expert.
The company has been told the road can be constructed and opened by the end of 2015, he said.
The campus corporation didn’t foresee the immediate need for the road when initial road construction for the entire campus was taking place in 2008, though Roohan now acknowledges the need.
“There is no other priority. This is it,” he said of the new road.
Malta town Supervisor Paul Sausville said $3.7 million left from the original state road construction grant is available for building the new road.
Sausville said an agreement with the town of Stillwater allowing Malta to build the road is being written, and Creighton-Manning Engineering of Albany is developing a proposal for designing the road and then overseeing its construction.
The state Department of Transportation, which provided the grant, and Empire State Development, which holds a lien on the technology campus, will also have to sign off on construction.
“Everything is moving along, but probably not as fast as everyone would hope,” said Malta town Comptroller Kevin King.
Campus officials and GlobalFoundries, meanwhile, continue to work on proposed zoning changes to allow more kinds of high-tech industrial uses on the campus, and also allow economic development tax breaks there. They hope that will encourage new development on some of the vacant land.
Libby Coreno of Saratoga Springs, an attorney for the applicants, said she hopes a draft environmental impact statement can be ready for public review in February, and be finalized by spring.
The Luther Forest Technology Campus Economic Development Corp. team believes current zoning restrictions on land uses and limitations on tax break incentives are behind the lack of new development. That, in turn, has led to financial problems for the organization.
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