Spring is here and that means construction season is upon us. WAMC's Capital Region Bureau Chief Dave Lucas takes a look at some of the projects around the city of Albany.
There's a lot of buzz about local infrastructure: Capitalize Albany Corporation president Sarah Reginelli says the Albany Skyway project team is working through the project’s feasibility, preliminary design and engineering. "The Albany Skyway is moving forward. We were able to close the ramp from Quay Street to Clinton Avenue earlier this month for structural inspections, and during that walk-through the views, opportunities and users experience all surpass expectations. And additional closure will allow the team to review conditions and begin their designs this month. A second public forum will be held in late May to ask stakeholders to weigh in on those concepts and prioritize amenities for the linear park. This first phase will produce a feasibility analysis and designer port. Thanks to the $3.1 million commitment from DOT and Governor Cuomo, the project is on schedule to move into final engineering this summer and construction next year."
Monday, the city began replacing curbs and sidewalks on the north side of Madison Avenue between New Scotland Avenue and Robin Street. Work includes finalizing installation and activating new traffic signals at the Madison Avenue intersections of Ontario Street, Quail Street, and South Lake Avenue. City Coordinator of Traffic Engineering William Trudeau says the work is part of the Complete Streets Plan, implemented to make Madison Avenue safer for pedestrians, cyclists and motor vehicles. "This is phase two of the project that we started two summers ago. We actually kicked this phase off last summer, working from Partridge down to Robin Street on Madison Avenue."
Workers are also continuing to install curb and drainage structures at the Willett Street/Henry Johnson Boulevard intersection.
A major project is getting under way at the Henry Johnson Boulevard viaduct, too. A concrete barrier is being put in place to separate traffic from a temporary pedestrian walkway that will allow pedestrians to continue to walk on the bridge between Central and Sheridan Avenues when major repairs are made to the structure. Officials say flag persons will be on site to assist traffic and pedestrians through the work zone safely.
Once the temporary walkway is in place, plans call for the existing sidewalk to be replaced. Construction and pedestrian areas will be separated by a temporary fence. Vehicle travel lanes on the bridge will be reduced to two 10-foot wide lanes. The temporary vehicle and pedestrian lanes will remain in place through June. Streets underneath the viaduct will also be impacted: the space under the span accessible from Elk and Sherman Streets will be blocked off for safety. Intersections under the bridge will remain open to allow traffic to continue along detours.
Albany's Department of General Services did not respond to numerous calls and emails about the project and about the status of repairs to potholed stretches, notably South Pearl Street in Albany’s South End and a span of Quail Street from New Scotland to Madison Avenues. The city website's "street maintenance" page says work on repairing potholes and repaving streets "is prioritized by severity." Citizens are urged to report pothole locations by calling 518-434-CITY.