A $4.6 million reconfiguration of the I-890 interchange in front of General Electric’s main entrance will start on Monday, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said.
Instead of exits 4A and 4B, there will be a single Exit 4, and the loop system will be simplified.
The state Department of Transportation said the project will improve traffic flow at an interchange notorious for requiring many motorists to make rapid multiple lane changes to get where they want to go.
It’s where Washington Avenue coming from Schenectady County Community College, GE’s entrance and Erie Boulevard converge with the interstate, in what is now a pair of loops. More than 60,000 vehicles use it every day, according to a DOT database.
Under the new design, the inner loop of the existing configuration will be removed, and new ramps will be built to connect the outer loop to I-890.
“For years, the I-890 interchange has proven to be a difficult section of roadway to navigate for the thousands of motorists who live, learn, work and play in downtown Schenectady,” Cuomo said in a statement. “By improving and modernizing this interchange, we are helping provide more efficient access to and from the interstate and improving the quality of life for Capital Region residents.”
Rifenburg Construction of Brunswick will be doing the work, which is expected to be finished by the end of the year.
The project will remove the Exit 4B off-ramp from westbound I-890. A new Exit 4B off-ramp will be installed slightly to the east of the old ramp.
The Exit 4B off-ramp to Erie Boulevard from eastbound I-890 will also be removed. Access to Erie Boulevard will be available from Exit 4A, less than a quarter-mile away.
Once removed, the old loop will be replaced with grass and landscaping, said DOT spokesman Bryan Viggiani.
In addition to the new ramps, there will be minor modifications to the interchange’s connection to Erie Boulevard to improve traffic flow. Overhead sign structures at the interchange will be replaced, and drainage will be repaired.
Detours and lane closures will be in place for different stages of construction.
The inner loop will be permanently closed after the new on-ramp is constructed, which is expected to occur by the middle of June.
Reach Gazette reporter Stephen Williams at 395-3086, [email protected] or @gazettesteve on Twitter.
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