Glenridge Road will reopen — for good — this afternoon.
After three years of on-and-off, single-lane and full-road closures, and more than 21⁄2 months of detours and traffic backups, the detour signs are coming down and the daily commute in and around Glenville will get a lot smoother for many.
The 0.4-mile stretch of road from Bruce Drive to Maple Avenue has been realigned and rebuilt. The bridge that carries Glenridge Road over the Alplaus Kill has been replaced. The underpasses beneath the B&M and D&H railroad bridges have been widened. The roundabout has been open since Aug. 7. The only work left to be done is minor and will require a temporary single-lane closure later this fall during off-peak hours.
“We wanted to get it open in time for the end of summer, school crowds to move in,” said state Department of Transportation spokesman Bryan Viggiani. “That was our goal, and we met it.”
The reopening marks a major milestone for the $11.7 million project to improve mobility along that road. For years, Glenville police have had to deal with large traffic volume, backups and accidents along the road, which is a major thoroughfare for workers on their way into Albany.
“We are officially ecstatic,” said police Lt. Stephen Janik. “The opening of Glenridge Road and just the size of the road itself and the room they’ve created by expanding the roads and bridges is going to be a huge deal for us. It will reduce our accident response to Glenridge Road significantly because we have handled a lot of sideswipes through there.”
Traffic was noticeably heavier along detour routes, including Route 146, Riverview Road and Maple Avenue, but contrary to previous closures, the most recent closure presented few problems for local police and emergency responders. Janik said that aside from a few tickets issued for stop sign violations, there were no accidents or significant backups that resulted from the closure.
“It actually worked out quite well,” he said. “We were pleasantly surprised by the traffic patterns.”
The re-opening comes just in time for the Niskayuna Central School District. Classes begin next week for students, and Glenridge Road is part of the school’s bus route.
Meanwhile, traffic through the new roundabout at the intersection of Glenridge Road and Maple Avenue appears to be moving smoothly. The traffic circle is the second roundabout in Schenectady County.
“Personally, I think it’s a very nice design, and I think the size of the roundabout is aesthetically nice,” said Janik. “It’s not too large, but it can handle the traffic flow through there easily. Since it’s been open, we haven’t had any major incidents or tickets or anyone not yielding the right of way. I really think people are just starting to get used to roundabouts. It’s a safe way to get through an intersection.”
Finishing touches on the project will occur this fall, including minor landscaping on the road’s shoulders. Additional work will be done to the concrete abutments holding up the B&M railroad underpass. None of this will require closures, though.
Later this fall, Glenridge Road east of the Alplaus Kill will receive a final layer of pavement, which will require the use of single alternating lanes of traffic during off-peak hours.