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What you need to know for 11/24/2017

Work on Schenectady roundabout to begin in August

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Work on Schenectady roundabout to begin in August

Construction of the city’s first roundabout at Erie Boulevard and Nott Street will start in two week
Work on Schenectady roundabout to begin in August
The roundabout at Erie Boulevard and Nott Street includes four through-lanes and direct access into the Mohawk Harbor site and onto nearby Front Street.

Construction of the city’s first roundabout at Erie Boulevard and Nott Street will start in two weeks, according to City Engineer Chris Wallin.

Work will start on the four through-lane roundabout the beginning of August and be completed by July 1, Wallin said. Starting Aug. 3, there will be lane closures as underground work begins.

“Right now there are dedicated turn lanes and during construction there will no longer be dedicated turn lanes,” he said. “Our goal is to keep two lanes open in each direction.”

The project comes with a $2.9 million price tag. The state and federal governments are picking up a majority of the tab. The city will pay for 5 percent of the total cost.

Rifenburg Construction of Troy plans to do underground work from August until November, take a break during the winter, and start actually building the roundabout in April.

“The city is replacing the water line and putting new sewer infrastructure,” Wallin said. “We’re doing all of that this year, starting Aug. 3 and continuing until the end of October.”

Work will start on the water line on the Jay Street side near the railroad bridge, Wallin said. Jay Street between Erie Boulevard and South Avenue will be closed for the week of Aug. 3.

The biggest concern is keeping traffic flowing on Nott Street during construction. Wallin said.

“They will have detours to manage the traffic and we want to accommodate PriceChopper,” he said. Erie Boulevard from “Nott Street toward Freemans Bridge Road is a state road and Nott Street to downtown is a city road, so we’re working with [the Department of Transportation] to make sure lane closures meet their standards.”

Rifenburg is also working on transforming the nearby Alco site off Erie Boulevard into Mohawk Harbor. Wallin said the Rifenburg crew on the 60-acre brownfield along with STS Steel would not be affected by the roundabout construction.

“They’re aware of each other even though they’re not working together,” he said. “There is a road in the site for STS. It’s just a dirt path but it cuts through the site. The big loads don’t usually come during the day but special hours at night.”

Rifenburg is carving the 50-boat-slip harbor at Mohawk Harbor along with creating roads and installing utilities on site. The project is part of Galesi Group’s plans for two hotels, housing, office and retail on the waterfront property.

Galesi is also partnering with Rush Street Gaming of Chicago on a $330 million Rivers Casino and Resort at Mohawk Harbor, which is seeking site plan approval with the city Planning Commission on Wednesday.

The roundabout is situated at the main entrance of Mohawk Harbor near Front Street to improve traffic flow along Erie Boulevard. It will also help to mitigate an increase in traffic from the casino.

When the casino is built, the site is expected to attract 681 new drivers during morning rush hour and 1,615 new drivers during evening rush hour, according to a traffic impact study by T.R. Johnson Engineering last July.

Also, construction on lower Union Street started about two weeks ago to replace the curbs and sidewalks along with installing new lighting and landscaping, Wallin said.

The work comes as new housing and restaurants have been added to the area leading to more foot traffic. New businesses have also recently opened a few blocks away on North Broadway.

The cost of the project is being split in half by the city and the Schenectady County Metroplex Development Authority.

The overall price tag is $1.8 million.

The project is expected to be completed by the end of September, Wallin said.

“Union Street is being reconstructed from Erie Boulevard to Park Avenue and also includes Yates Street,” he said. “We’re hoping to have it done in two months.”

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