COLONIE — Heavy construction is starting on a $26.9 million project to rehabilitate Route 7 from the city of Troy into the town of Colonie, the state Department of Transportation announced Friday.
The two-year project will include work on the Collar City Bridge over the Hudson River and safety and reliability improvements, the department said.
Route 7 through Colonie -- known locally at Alternative Route 7 -- runs from the Northway to Troy, carrying about 68,700 vehicles per day, officials said. For many travelers, it serves as a gateway to Rensselaer County, southern Vermont, and western Massachusetts.
The highway will be temporarily widened to allow traffic to proceed while work is done on small bridges over the Cohoes Road (Route 32), the D&H railroad tracks and Elm Street. That work is starting now and will continue through fall.
Drivers also will see concrete pavement repairs starting on the westbound climbing lane on Route 7, drainage improvements and repaving of the ramp to Route 9. Daily lane closures and lane shifts will be part of the work.
On the Collar City Bridge, which carries about 56,000 vehicles per day, work will include replacing the structure's bearings and joints, overlaying existing concrete decks, and rehabilitating the bridge's ramps, including the resurfacing of the 6th Street ramp in Troy. Most of the work on the driving surface will be in 2020.
"Route 7 is one of the busiest thoroughfares in the Capital Region, and is especially important for the drivers in the communities I represent," said state Assemblyman Phil Steck, D-Colonie.