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City gets updates on Oak Street bridge, Erie Blvd., Central Park

City gets updates on Oak Street bridge, Erie Blvd., Central Park

As spring approaches, bids come in for needed work
City gets updates on Oak Street bridge, Erie Blvd., Central Park
Oak Street bridge in December 2016.
Photographer: Erie Boulevard looking toward Union Street from Nott Street in Schenectady on Thursday, Feb. 23, 2017.

As spring approaches, city officials are preparing to launch a handful of infrastructure projects.

At Tuesday night’s City Council meeting, officials reviewed bids and received updates on projects that will start as early as next month.

Here are the main projects discussed and an update on where they stand.

Oak Street bridge

City Engineer Chris Wallin updated council members on the Oak Street bridge, which has been closed for nearly four years and is in need of repairs.

The city is awaiting design approval from Amtrak, but a timeline for when the bridge might reopen was unclear. The bridge connects Schenectady’s Mont Pleasant and Bellevue neighborhoods and has been closed since April 2013, due to structural concerns.

The railway company looks at designs incrementally, providing feedback when projects are 30 percent complete, 80 percent complete and 100 percent complete. The city recently received comments on its 30 percent design submission and will put forth its next plan by the end of the month, Wallin said.

“The goal is to keep the ball in their court,” Wallin said. “When they give us back their comments, we’re going to turn them around as fast as we can.”

Once the design process is complete, the state Department of Transportation can sign off on the project and repairs can begin, Wallin said.

The goal, he said, is to limit work on the tracks themselves, which limits how much Amtrak would need to flag down trains and get involved with the actual repairs.

“The more Amtrak has to get involved, the more we’re sort of at their beck and call,” he said.

Erie Boulevard improvements

The city is in the midst of a multi-phase rehab effort along Erie Boulevard, which includes construction of the roundabout that opened over the summer.

As part of the project’s next phase, the city will focus on the stretch between the roundabout and Union Street. The plan is to replace two water mains in the road before revamping sidewalks, curbs, traffic signals and the roadway itself, Wallin said.

The city received a bid last week for $1.5 million to perform the water main work, which Wallin said will get underway in March and take a few months to complete.

While that’s taking place, the city will bid out reconstruction work for the curbs, sidewalks, street lighting and traffic signals, as well as work to repave that stretch of road.

The hope is the full project will be complete by September, and Erie Boulevard from Interstate 890 up to the roundabout will be uniform, Wallin said.

Central Park tennis courts

The tennis courts at Schenectady’s Central Park will be upgraded as part of an agreement between the city and 15-Love, an organization that offers tennis and educational programs throughout the Capital Region.

Each side will contribute $150,000 to re-coat some of the courts and put up new fencing, Wallin said. The upgrades were planned last year, so the city’s contribution was included in the 2017 capital budget.

The plan is to complete both the coating and fencing in late March, Wallin said. Ten courts were already repaved and will be re-coated and painted.

A handful of other courts will receive surface repairs, as needed.

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