Saturday, October 18, 2008

Broadway Meeting

Rensselaer residents had the opportunity to review the proposed Broadway reconstruction plans last Thursday evening. The plans were developed by Clough, Harbour & Associates, the firm which created the award-winning pedestrian bridge at the Albany riverfront. The reconstruction will take place between the Rt. 9 & 20 intersection and the railroad viaduct bridge.

The city received federal funding for this project several years ago, and $7 million is allocated (the city must contribute 5% itself). Reconstruction plans have the following objectives: improve pavement condition, upgrade municipal utilities to support future development, improve safety at intersections, accommodate pedestrians and bicyclists, improve aesthetics with plantings, historic style paving and lighting, and minimize impact of construction on property owners.

After the public comment period ends on Oct. 31, the design report will be finalized and sent to the appropriate agencies for approvals. Final design approval is anticipated by the summer of 2009, and detailed plans will be developed over the following winter. Construction should begin in 2010, and will take 2 full seasons, as they can only close a single lane at a time for work.

Discussions at the meeting revolved around traffic flow versus pedestrian safety, and why there were no plans to bury the power lines (it wouldn’t be covered by the grant, and is therefore cost-prohibitive). Here is a picture of the Rt. 9 & 20 end of Broadway on Oct. 18. (Sure would be nice to bury those lines… maybe other funding sources could be explored.)

This Times Union article announcing the past meeting gives an overview of the project. I haven’t found any follow-up articles.