The city received $1.26 million in state funding for safety improvements to Brandywine Avenue.
Earlier this month, Schenectady’s application with the state Highway Safety Improvement Program was approved for the funding, which City Engineer Chris Wallin said will be used to enhance pedestrian safety in the area of Brandywine Avenue from State Street to I-890.
Wallin said the money would be used to reevaluate lane configurations, replace traffic signals and improve pedestrian accommodations at Brandywine Avenue and Albany Street, and Brandywine Avenue and Duane Avenue.
The improvements would also include new lighting to make the area more like a gateway to the city, he said.
“It’s a very congested pedestrian area with a lot of people walking,” Wallin said. “We had a fatality there a couple of years ago. This money is for traffic and pedestrian improvements.”
Wallin said the proposal for funding came after the state did improvements on Route 5 from Albany to Schenectady.
The state Department of Transportation is replacing the bridge over I-890 next year, Wallin said. The goal is to line up the Brandywine improvements with that project, he said.
The Brandywine project would start in early 2018, Wallin said.
At the same time, the state Department of Transportation has started a $4.6 million reconfiguration of the I-890 interchange at exits 4A and 4B.
The project removed the inner loop and will add new ramps to the outer loop. It is expected to be done by the end of the year.
The city is also considering traffic flow improvements on Brandywine Avenue as part of a $6 million retail project approved by the Planning Commission last year at the corner of State Street and Brandywine Avenue.
The improvements include potential changes in traffic signals and removing the no left turn at the intersection. Wallin said those changes have not happened since the project has yet to move forward.
Atlantic Development of Massachusetts is planning to add two retail buildings, one 14,500 square feet and the other 7,200 square feet, along with a 5,150-square-foot bank at the site.
The developer was looking for a grocery store tenant for the three-acre property.
Ray Gillen, chairman of the Schenectady County Metroplex Development Authority, said plans for the project are moving forward with tenants interested in the site.
Gillen said environmental testing done on the property has come back clean and bids for the demolition of several buildings, including a former restaurant and old funeral home, have recently been returned.
“We’re still working on it with the developer,” he said. “There is good interest in the site.”
Reach Gazette reporter Haley Viccaro at 395-3114, [email protected] or @HRViccaro on Twitter.