Existing bike trails, sidewalks and roads in Schenectady County will be improved, and new trails and sidewalks built, following the awarding of $4.6 million in federal funds.
The funding was approved Thursday by the policy board of the Capital District Transportation Committee and is spread out over 11 projects in the city of Schenectady and the towns of Niskayuna and Rotterdam.
“After such a long winter that wreaked havoc on our roadways, the new pavement projects are welcome news for our residents,” said Anthony Jasenski, chairman of the Schenectady County Legislature, in a news release. “In addition, the trail and sidewalk projects will continue our efforts to make the county more accessible to walkers and bikers.”
Among the projects:
• $229,000 to construct a multi-use path in Niskayuna from the Flower Hill cul-de-sac to the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail via Rosendale Road and an existing trail spur along Ferry Bridge Road.
• $100,000 to construct a new multi-use path in Niskayuna connecting the Niskayuna Soccer Complex and the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail.
• $145,000 to upgrade safety features on the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail in Rotterdam.
• $448,000 to build sidewalks on Helderberg Avenue in Rotterdam.
• $3.66 million for road pavement projects in Rotterdam, Niskayuna, Rotterdam and Schenectady.
The funding represents total project costs and includes a 20 percent match from the local municipalities.
In Niskayuna, the $229,000 multi-use path will improve the walking, running and cycling environment by better connecting hundreds of households in the eastern end of the town to the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail. The $100,000 path will give bikers and walkers a safe way to access the soccer fields.
“The town was pleased to work with the county to secure two grants that will enhance our growing trail system,” said Joe Landry, Niskayuna town supervisor. “These new trails will improve safety and access for town residents.”
In Rotterdam, the Mohawk-Hudson trail’s outdated bollards and gates, used to stop cars from entering the trail, have created safety concerns. They will be replaced with new access control devices. On the west side of Helderberg Avenue, 2,800 feet of sidewalk will be rebuilt, and 800 feet of new sidewalk will be added to the east side from Morning Glory Drive to the mid-block crossing. The crossing will be improved with a flashing beacon and displays that will notify drivers of their speed. The project is designed to provide safe pedestrian access in the area near Mohonasen Middle and High schools.
Both Rotterdam projects are slated for construction in 2015.
“These projects on high traffic roadways in Rotterdam will improve road safety for all of our residents,” said Harry Buffardi, Rotterdam town supervisor.
The city of Schenectady received $705,000 to repave Guilderland Avenue in 2015 and $525,000 to repave Broadway downtown from State to Millard streets in 2016.
“These pavement preservation projects will help the city maintain two important thoroughfares, and the federal funding will allow us to use local resources for other roads that need repair,” Mayor Gary McCarthy said.
The other approved paving projects are:
• $436,000 for Broadway from Route 7 in Rotterdam to the Schenectady city line. 2015 construction
• $622,000 for Consaul Road in Niskayuna. 2015
• $697,000 for Aqueduct Road in Niskayuna. 2015
• $403,000 for Union Street in Niskayuna. 2016
• $274,000 for Chrisler Avenue in Rotterdam. 2016
The county departments of Economic Development and Planning and Engineering and Public Works prepared the grant applications submitted by the county, and the city Engineering Department submitted the city’s applications. The Capital District Transportation Committee is responsible for allocating federal transportation aid in the region.