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Northway paving, Scotia bridge replacement among $490M in proposed projects

Northway paving, Scotia bridge replacement among $490M in proposed projects

Plan includes 17 new road improvement projects between Saratoga and Schenectady counties
Northway paving, Scotia bridge replacement among $490M in proposed projects
In Schenectady, $5.3 million is allocated for the Kings Road bridge replacement.
Photographer: Peter R. Barber

About 50 new transportation improvement projects, from Northway paving to a bridge replacement in Scotia, are being considered for the Capital Region’s five-year transportation spending plan.

The Capital District Transportation Committee laid out its draft $490 million transportation improvement plan Tuesday at Colonie’s William K Sanford Town Library, in anticipation that it will be approved next month.

“It’s a lengthy process,” said Michael Franchini, the CDTC’s executive director, who said the five-year plan is updated every two or three years, to account for changing circumstances.

In addition to previously approved projects, the plan includes eight new projects in Schenectady County and nine new projects in Saratoga County.

The draft plan, which would replace the current 2016-2021 plan, will cover the federal fiscal years between Oct. 1, 2019 and Sept. 30, 2024. The plan is developed by CDTC staff with input from the state Department of Transportation and others.

The Northway in Saratoga County will be a major focus, with the state Department of Transportation planning to spend $15 million between now and 2024 to repave parts of the high-volume interstate.

“It makes more sense to do preventive maintenance than to wait,” said Chris O’Neill, a CDTC principal transportation planner.

In Clifton Park, the projects being proposed include $1.3 million for bicycle and pedestrian improvements around the routes 146 and 146A intersection, where a roundabout is about to be constructed. “This will complement that work,” O’Neill said.

In later years -- probably beyond 2024 -- there’s a $4.9 million plan to reconstruct the critical Route 146-Clifton Country Road intersection, possibly the busiest in Saratoga County.

In Glenville, projects include a $3.2 million rehabilitation of Freeman’s Bridge, along with a “complete streets” project along Freemans Bridge Road and $300,000 in grade crossing improvements where railroad tracks cross Freemans Bridge Road.

Franchini said those projects are new, and grew directly out of a CDTC-funded study the town of Glenville completed last year. “We like when there’s followup on these studies,” Franchini said. “We know there’s community involvement, we know there’s support.”

In Niskayuna, one new project calls for a realignment of the Old River Road and Rosendale Road intersection. The intersection, near the Colonie town line, is at a spot where Rosendale takes a sharp right turn and Old River Road also bends. Plans are to put a traffic light there, according to CDTC’s project narrative.

In the city of Schenectady, $5.3 million is allocated for the Kings Road bridge replacement, and $3.5 million to replace the Francis Street bridge over Interstate-890. In Duanesburg, there are plans to spend $2.8 million to repair or replace the Route 20 bridge over the Schoharie Creek.

The village of Scotia would receive $4.8 million in funding to replace the Sunnyside Road bridge over railroad tracks, with work anticipated to happen in 2021-2022.

Franchini said the CDTC is planning for more than $13 million in bicycle and pedestrian improvements, and he is proud of how much CDTC allocates to bike/ped projects. “A lot of other regions don’t spend as much on bike/ped,” he said.

CDTC officials said they expect the plan to be adopted at the June 6 meeting of the CDTC Policy Board, which will make it final. All the spending, however, is subject to congressional approval of the necessary transportation funding.

The current federal transportation bill expires in 2020.

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