AMSTERDAM -- The city will be getting improved sidewalks and crosswalks at more than 20 streets and intersections and two new roundabouts as part of a combined $8.6 million worth of infrastructure improvement projects announced by the state.
The projects will be funded from two different programs and will include federal, state and some local funding.
The state Department of Transportation will be administering $6.1 million under the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Improvement Program: $4.9 million coming from the federal government and $1.2 million from the state.
The money will be used to replace two state-controlled intersections in the city with two roundabouts:
• The intersection of Main Street (Route 5 westbound) with Market and Division streets.
• The intersection of East Main Street with Schuyler Street and Main Street Route 5 westbound.
The project also will convert the one-way segment of Main Street between Liberty and Schuyler streets into a two-way street and to evaluate the effects of relocating Route 5 eastbound traffic to Main Street.
The city's community and economic development director, Amanda Bearcroft, said the creation of the two-way segment on Main Street is the key to enabling the city to ultimately remove Route 5, both its eastbound spur and the portion of Route 5 that runs west from the Route 30 bridge.
"Realistically that opens up our ability to finally shut down that portion of Route 5, which has become redundant and a way for people to not circulate within the city," Bearcroft said. "Now being able to shut that down, not only do you have less redundant streets, you're trying to fix circulation issues and bring people into downtown to see what's around them.
"Plus, you'll have that whole strip of pavement for development for green space for waterfront access," she said. "That'll be a big chunk of land that the city will have for redevelopment."
Mayor Michael Villa said its crucial for the city to be able to remove the portion of the Route 5 eastbound spur located where the city has proposed a $6 million Community Center & City Recreation Center Complex. The city has applied for $2.5 million in funding from the $10 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative grant it was awarded by the state to help pay for the recreation center.
"I don't think the state would have granted this amount of money if they didn't think this traffic pattern they are going to create would work," Villa said.
DOT officials said the funding does not include any money to actually remove any part of Route 5.
Villa said Amsterdam is prepared to shut the eastern spur of Route 5 down in order to build the proposed recreation center, if necessary.
"The city, on its own, can probably, if it had to, barricade the Route 5 portions that interfere with the rec center," he said. "One way or another, if the rec center is going to be funded [by the DRI], it's going to be built."
DOT officials said they also will be studying the feasibility of constructing a third roundabout on the northern border of the city, located approximately at the intersection of Route 67 and Widow Susan Road, which connects with upper Church Street in the city. DOT officials said no funding is yet available to build the third roundabout, and each roundabout will cost approximately $1.5 million to build.
The city also will be receiving $2 million in federal funding from the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) for upgrading a selection of city sidewalks and intersections to include pedestrian crosswalks, new pedestrian traffic signals, new warning signs and new sidewalk connections and/or extensions, which will bring those sidewalks into compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act requirements.
Amsterdam's TAP project requires a $494,770 match of city funds. The construction of the upgrades will be administered by the city.
Bearcroft said the TAP improvements will help to enhance the walkability of the city's core.
"I know some of those areas have been deteriorating in terms of their sidewalks, and a lot of them aren't ADA compliant. If you try to get a stroller or a wheelchair on a lot of those it's easier to go on the street than the sidewalk, which is a safety concern," she said. "Having sidewalks that everyone can use obviously benefits the city population."
Breakdown of projects
Transportation Alternatives Program:
- $2.5 million project to build new sidewalk connections and/or extensions, pedestrian crosswalk installation, pedestrian signal installation and upgrades, and warning sign installations.
- The project will improve pedestrian facilities at the following intersections:
- Glen Avenue and Bunn Street.
- Brandt Place and Bunn Street.
- Lindbergh Avenue and Bunn Street.
- The Mall Street and Northampton Road
- Locust Ave and Clizbe Avenue
- Prospect Street and Church Street.
- Prospect Street, Locust Avenue, Brookside Avenue, and Schuler Street
- Lyon Street, Brookside Avenue, and Locust Avenue
- Northampton Road and Guy Park Avenue
- Division Street and Clinton Street
- Steadwell Avenue and Guy Park Drive
- Division Street and Steadwell Avenue, Bridge Street and Gilliland Avenue
- Bridge Street and Erie Street
- Bridge Street and Center Street, Canalway Trail and Minaville Street
- Canalway Trail and Bridge Street
- Canalway Trail and Arch Street
- Division Street and Route 5
- Market Street and Guy Park Extension
- Guy Park Avenue Extension and a parking lot
- Crescent Avenue and Shuttleworth Avenue
- Caroline Street and Guy Park Avenue
- Wall Street and Division Street
The following streets and roads will also get sidewalk enhancements and improved pedestrian facilities:
- Cresent Avenue
- Clizbe Avenue
- Church Street
- Lyon Street
- St. Mary’s Hospital
Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality (CMAQ) Improvement Program:
- $6.1 million project to convert two intersections into roundabouts:
- The intersection of Main Street (Route 5 westbound) with Market Street and Division Street
- The intersection of East Main Street with Schuyler Street and Main Street Route 5 westbound
- The CMAQ project will also convert the one-way segment of Main Street between Liberty Street and Schuyler Street into a two-way street.