In one week, commuters in and around East Glenville should prepare for a two-month-long headache. The good news is that those two months of pain will yield lots of gain down the road.
A stretch of Glenridge Road from Bruce Drive to Maple Avenue will close the evening of Friday, June 21, and stay that way throughout the summer until Sept. 8, just in time for schools to open.
The state Department of Transportation will be realigning and reconstructing the road during this time and replacing the bridge that carries Glenridge Road over the Alplaus Kill. Crews will also construct a roundabout planned for the intersection of Maple Avenue and Glenridge Road so that by the time Glenridge Road opens again, it will be ready to use and nearly complete.
While emergency responders and residents will have access to the closed-off area, everyone else will be detoured onto Route 146 (Balltown Road), Riverview Road (Saratoga County Route 88), Alplaus Avenue or Maple Avenue.
“It’s going to create substantial traffic jams and traffic issues for people driving in the area, but DOT has been very good in their planning of this so that school is out and there is no bus traffic,” said Glenville Police Lt. Stephen Janik. “Hopefully they’ve given enough fair warning that people will try to find alternate routes.”
This latest bout of road closures will be the last lengthy inconvenience caused by the three-year, $12 million endeavor to widen the lanes and shoulders of a 1-mile stretch of Glenridge Road, said DOT spokesman Bryan Viggiani.
Once it reopens, it will likely only close again for one day on a weekend so crews can apply a top layer of pavement. There may also be some instances where finishing touches require crews to shift traffic to one lane. The project is expected to wrap up by Dec. 1.
“We’re going to try to keep traffic moving as best as possible,” said Viggiani.
Traffic backed up so much last year that town police were fielding a steady stream of calls. At one point, so many commuters tried traveling around the barricades that Glenville police set up a detail nearby to monitor and ticket anyone trying to go through.
“We issued several, if not dozens of traffic citations,” said Janik. “If anyone tries to get through there this time, there’s going to be a full road closure and a bridge is going to be out, so they would end up in the creek.”
He recommended that anyone heading west into town from Clifton Park should take the detour onto Route 146 into Rexford, followed by a right onto Riverview Road, which eventually turns into Alplaus Avenue. But even Alplaus gets congested quickly, he said, since it’s a small, narrow street. So for someone trying to travel to the southern portion of Glenville, he recommends taking the same detour onto Route 146, but following it over the Rexford Bridge and onto Aqueduct Road and then down Maxon Road Extension, which eventually ends at the Erie Boulevard-Freeman’s Bridge Road intersection. A right onto Freeman’s Bridge Road takes someone into the south end of town.
Another option for those headed west is to take a detour onto Blue Barns Road toward Burnt Hills, followed by a left onto Kingsley Road or a left further up onto Lakehill Road. Both detours take drivers to Route 50 on the north end of town.
“Glenville really doesn’t have a lot of access from the east, so when you’re coming east to west, that’s really our only road,” said Janik. “You do have Alplaus Avenue, but it’s a lot smaller and is going to be very congested, so if people don’t try and find some alternate routes you’re looking at the possibility for accidents, road rage incidents and other traffic-related incidents. The end result, of course, will be tremendous for us. The bridge expanding will probably reduce our accidents and calls for service in that area.”
The reconstruction project required Glenridge Road to close earlier this year in January so that steel could be set for the new B&M Railroad bridge. Two railroad passes over the road have been replaced with wider ones to accommodate the road’s expansion. D&H Railroad has already relocated its line onto the new structure, and B&M Railroad will coordinate the relocation of its line with the upcoming road closure.
Also during the closure, state DOT will reconstruct Glenridge Road so that it is wider and straighter and construct the lion’s share of the roundabout so that it’s usable by Sept. 8. Once the road reopens, the only work left will be a final layer of paving and permanent striping at the roundabout, final drainage work and a top layer of asphalt from Bradt Road to the Conifer Park Treatment Center.