GLENVILLE — Touareuna Road in West Glenville will remain open through at least this winter, after town officials encountered significant public opposition to the idea of closing part of it because of the road's deteriorated condition.
The Town Board discussed the issues surrounding the narrow, steep and worn road on Wednesday, and has opted to study it more over the winter, when the road in recent years has remained open, but has not been plowed or otherwise maintained.
"I think the board has more questions about maintenance options," Town Supervisor Chris Koetzle said. "Can we still do oil and stone, or isn't that allowed, and are there other cheaper options that can maintain the road for less?"
The board's decision leaves the status quo in place. The steep section of Touareuna Road just north of state Route 5 isn't plowed or sanded after storms between Dec. 1 and April 1, though residents are free to drive on it when conditions allow.
A proposal for the town to close the short section entirely surfaced recently after a full repaving was estimated to cost the town more than $200,000. Town officials and residents agree that some work is needed on the road, which has potholes and multiple pavement patches on it.
"We'll take the winter and do all our homework and by spring have an idea what we want to do," Koetzle said.
The road is lightly traveled; a traffic count isn't available. Koetlze said the town's recent effort to get a traffic count has been manipulated by residents encouraging people driving across the counter strip multiple times.
Some people describe the road on the hill, where the road also takes a sharp curve, as dangerous. The supervisor said there is not a significant accident history there.
Residents and others who use the road are concerned that its closure could slow commutes and emergency responses, especially since one of the closest alternative routes, along upper Wolf Hollow Road, has been closed since 2011 because of slope erosion caused by Tropical Storm Irene.
The northern part of Touareuna Road, after it climbs the ridge, marks the boundary between Schenectady and Montgomery counties, and people living in Montgomery and Saratoga counties are known to use Touareuna Road to reach Route 5.