ROTTERDAM -- Preliminary work on the long-planned Hamburg Street reconstruction project will begin Monday, according to the state Department of Transportation.
Initially, National Grid will replace gas and electric transmission lines between the Curry Road roundabout and the Schenectady city line. The work will include installation of a new gas line and replacement of utility poles. The utility work is expected to be finished by the end of the year.
It is being done in preparation for a full reconstruction of more than a mile of Hamburg Street, which is also state Route 146. In additional to rebuilding the road, the state will build sidewalks, turn lanes and a center median along the busy corridor, all aimed at making the area more pedestrian-friendly. Between 9,000 and 12,000 vehicles per day use the corridor, according to DOT data.
Road and sewer construction bids are due to be opened in April, with work to start in late spring, said DOT spokesman Bryan Viggiani. Completion isn't expected until 2018.
State officials said homes and businesses along Hamburg Street will continue to be accessible throughout construction, and that trash pickup and other town services will continue as they have in the past.
Overall state costs are expected to be $9.8 million, but the town will spend an additional $4.17 million to install sewers along that stretch of highway. Town Supervisor Steve Tommasone said the bidding process for all the work, including the town sewer, was being handled by DOT, and that a new water line was also part of the project.
Tommasone said the sewer line, which has been discussed for years and was controversial -- because of its estimated cost -- prior to last year's formation of a sewer district, should lead to new development along Hamburg Road. The line will connect to the Schenectady city sewage system. He said building the sewer line at the same time as the state's highway reconstruction will save a significant amount of money.
"Hamburg has no sewers now, and that's why the overall area hasn't developed and there's so much vacant land," Tommasone said. "We were supportive of the project because we know, long-term, it is the best thing for that town and particularly in that area."