Glenville town Supervisor Chris Koetzle wants the Alplaus Avenue bridge over the Alplaus Kill to shine — literally.
Koetzle sent a letter to Schenectady County with a list of requests, including that the county Route 16 bridge have ornamental lighting, following a public meeting on the proposed rehabilitation of the bridge deck and rails last month. The project is in the design phase and work could begin next year.
“The hamlet of Alplaus is a beautiful little neighborhood, and we ought to be providing more beautiful elements to Alplaus than just a standard, boring bridge,” Koetzle said. “I don’t want to see what happened in Scotia with that disaster over the Mohawk happen in Alplaus.”
He was referring to the state’s renovation of the Western Gateway Bridge that included putting a wall on one side blocking the view of the Mohawk River.
Koetzle also asked that the Alplaus bridge have “properly sized” crosswalks and ornamental railings to match the hamlet’s architecture. And he asked the county to conduct a land-use analysis of how much vehicle, foot and bicycle traffic the bridge will see through 2054, among other requests.
“The current bridge was constructed in 1970 yielding a useful life of 44 years, and the planned improvements are anticipated to provide service until approximately 2054,” he wrote. “Therefore, the improvements to be constructed will be the only improvements made for a period in excess of 80 years.”
County spokesman Joe McQueen said Koetzle’s recommendations and those of residents are being considered by the county’s engineers and engineering consultant. He said they are discussing the comments with state officials to determine what changes could be made, since 80 percent of the work would be federally funded, 15 percent would be state funded and the county would cover 5 percent. McQueen said the project’s cost has not been determined.
“There are some things that we can do and cannot do under state rules for rehabilitation, in terms of reimbursement, since it’s a rehabilitation project and we’re not looking to change the structure of the bridge,” he said. “It’s all going to be based on what the structure can handle.”