11/9/2012 2:47:10 PM
New intersection at Washington Ave Extension, Fuller Road set to open to ease congestion, support UAlbany NanoCollege growth
For Immediate Release: Friday, November 9, 2012 View Video of the Original Announcement Here
New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) Commissioner Joan McDonald today announced that the new intersection of Fuller Road and Washington Avenue Extension in Albany will be completed on Monday, November 12. The $18 million project to reduce traffic congestion and help accommodate rapid growth at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering (CNSE) of the University at Albany is the result of a partnership between the State Department of Transportation, Albany County and the Fuller Road Management Corporation (FRMC).
“The project we are celebrating today exemplifies the significant positive effects a sound transportation system has on the State’s economy by upgrading a key intersection in a way that bolsters business growth and job creation,” Commissioner McDonald said. “This is truly a multi-modal project in that it improves safety for motorists, pedestrians, bicyclists and bus riders, at the same time as drastically reducing congestion-related travel delays.”
Dean Fuleihan, CNSE Executive Vice President for Strategic Partnerships and Executive Director of the Nanotechnology Innovation Institute (NII), said, “Through his strategy and investment in the critical infrastructure that enables expansion and the continued creation of high-tech jobs, while ensuring a better quality of life for all New Yorkers, this construction project is yet another example of Governor Andrew Cuomo’s dedication to New York’s growing world-class nanotechnology sector. Under the leadership of the innovation governor, this initiative is providing a long-term traffic solution while increasing safety for both motorists and pedestrians, an investment that reveals New York is open for business.”
Albany County Executive Daniel McCoy said, “This has been a long haul for everyone who lives, works or travels through this area of Albany County. The end result is a spectacular improvement and will accommodate the thousands of cars that travel in this area every day. Thank you to residents and business owners for your patience during this process.”
Washington Avenue eastbound will close to traffic at 9 p.m. on Friday, November 9, and reopen on Monday at 7 a.m. At that point eastbound traffic will be using the new configuration, marking significant project completion. The roundabout was completed earlier this fall and westbound Washington Ave Extension traffic began using the new flyover two weeks ago. Minor construction will continue next spring with final paving and landscaping.
Congressman Paul Tonko said, “This is the type of investment that improves quality of life and makes getting around the Capital Region quicker, easier and safer. Prioritizing different modes of transportation - including pedestrians and cyclists - is an added strength of this project.”
Senator Neil Breslin said, “Having a sound, safe and efficient transportation system is a critical component of our local economy. Toward that end, this multi-model project will help facilitate the expected rapid growth at the College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering. Along with the reduction in traffic congestion, this project also improves the safety of pedestrians and bicyclists with new sidewalks and a new 10-foot-wide bicycle lane that connects existing bike trails.”
Assemblyman Jack McEneny said, “The new flyover-roundabout system at Fuller Road and Washington Avenue combines environmental and economic benefits for our area and our future. Nearly 30,000 drivers will enjoy the new configuration every day, as will the surrounding areas. Pedestrians and bicyclists will also see improvements. This work should unsnarl one of the biggest traffic tie-ups in the area, and I commend DOT for completing this work with minimal inconvenience”
Albany Mayor Gerald Jennings said, “I applaud NYSDOT for their commitment and guidance in bringing the Fuller Road improvements to fruition. In addition, I would like to thank the commuters of the Capital Region for their patience and understanding, as we continue to grow our roadway efficiency.”
CDTA CEO Carm Basile said, “CDTA supports any plan to reduce traffic congestion and improve safety for not only our riders but the community as a whole. We have added service to the area that will accompany new bus bays on Washington Avenue Extension alongside the improved pedestrian and bicycle access that will benefit everyone.”
As part of the project, NYSDOT realigned Washington Ave. Extension to the north and installed a two-lane roundabout at the Fuller Road/County Road 156 intersection. A flyover bridge was built to carry Washington Avenue through-traffic, thereby removing 20,000 cars daily from the intersection and providing improved access to CNSE’s Albany NanoTech Complex, which is currently engaged in a $366 million expansion project. Nearly 30,000 vehicles travel through the intersection each day.
Pedestrian and bicycle access is improved with new sidewalks and a new, 10-foot bicycle lane connecting to existing bike trails. Reduced congestion will enhance transit schedules and new bus bays on Washington Ave. Extension provide safer stopping areas for riders.
More than two miles of Washington Ave and Washington Ave. Extension were reconstructed, together with less than a half mile stretch of Fuller Rd.
An investment by FRMC funded 45 percent of the total cost of the project, with NYSDOT and Albany County jointly funding the remainder. Construction of the new infrastructure cost $14.5 million, while the total project cost, including design, construction, construction inspection and utility work, is $18 million.
The construction contractor for this project is W. M. Schultz Construction, Inc. of Ballston Spa, Saratoga County.
NYSDOT – Carol Breen (518) 457 -6400
CNSE – Steve Janack (518) 956-7332