The Rexford Bridge roundabout will open to traffic this fall and the entire project is on schedule for completion in December of 2017, DOT Commissioner Matthew Driscoll said at a press conference Tuesday.
Throughout bridge construction, a single lane of the roundabout will be open at the intersection of Balltown Road (Route 146), Aqueduct Road and Williams Street. Once the bridge is complete, the roundabout will have two lanes.
“We’re hoping to have it open by the end of this month,” DOT Regional Director Sam Zhou said.
The Rexford Bridge connects Niskayuna and Clifton Park, which Driscoll said are two of the fastest growing towns in the Capital Region.
Approximately 22,000 motor vehicles utilize the 51-year-old bridge every day.
Construction workers and crews from Tioga Construction Co., Inc. of Utica and AECOM USA, Inc., of New York City are building a bridge adjacent to the original, as part of the $32.5 million project.
The bridge will feature four lanes, which officials say will help with traffic flow.
According to Driscoll, the roundabout will also be a large factor in smoothing traffic flow in an energy-efficient way.
“There will be fewer cars idling at a red light at this location and that means fewer emissions,” Driscoll said.
Another aspect of the project which Driscoll believes will make the area more accommodating to residents is the multi-modal path.
It will connect to the existing bike path along the Mohawk River in Niskayuna and extend across the bridge to connect the two towns.
“Last month, nearly 400 cyclists passed through this area on a 400 mile trek as part of the eight day cycle Erie Canal tour,” Driscoll said.
The extended path will encourage further use of the trail and tourism in the area, which will help to support the local economy, according to Driscoll.
Joe Landry, Niskayuna Town Supervisor, said, “The project will improve access to our community for motorists, and will encourage alternative travel by pedestrians and bicyclists.”
Throughout construction on the Rexford Bridge project this summer, Landry said that even the major detours and temporary road closings of the area were run smoothly due to proper signage, which was one of the major concerns that Landry had for the project.
Clifton Park Town Supervisor Phil Barrett said that he has appreciated the efforts that the department has taken to minimize inconvenience for motorists.
“Historically, projects have taken a long time. We’re accelerating our project delivery,” Driscoll said.
On this project, among others in New York State, precast decking materials are used to speed up the process.
“The Rexford Bridge project is really a great example of design build . . . it helps us to move forward and combine design and construction into one bid and one contract. It saves time, reduces cost and it really fosters innovation, which we’re seeing here at this site,” Driscoll said.
GAZETTE COVERAGEEnsure access to everything we do, today and every day, check out our subscribe page at DailyGazette.com/Subscribe
More from The Daily Gazette: