NY Works $16.9 Million Project Will Connect Bike and Pedestrian Paths on Both Sides of Mohawk River
Albany, NY (October 24, 2012)
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that construction has begun on a $16.9 million project to rehabilitate the Western Gateway Bridge that carries Route 5 between the city of Schenectady and the village of Scotia in Schenectady County. The project includes the construction of a new, multi-use, shared lane across the bridge to connect bicycle and pedestrian pathways on both sides of the Mohawk River, and is funded through the NY Works program.
“Adding a multi-use lane to the Western Gateway Bridge is a perfect example of the NY Works program in action: taking into account the needs of the local community, and then coordinating and putting forward a plan to get the project started now,” Governor Cuomo said. “Through the NY Works program we will continue to fund critical infrastructure improvements across New York State to create jobs and make the state a better place to live for all our residents.”
New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Joan McDonald said, “With relatively low-cost changes, a standard bridge rehabilitation has been transformed into a project that fits well with the communities it serves and creates a multi-modal structure that will improve safety for motorists, bicyclists and pedestrians alike. A direct bicycle and pedestrian link between two active neighborhoods provides safer commuting options and encourages recreational and sustainable travel between downtown Schenectady and Scotia.”
The work is being conducted through the “design-build” method, whereby design and construction run concurrently saving time and money, and shortening travel inconveniences. The project originally called for simply replacing the bridge deck and sidewalks but in response to community input, NYSDOT expanded the project to include additional pedestrian and bicycle amenities to enhance existing infrastructure and better fit into the community.
The existing bridge has two travel lanes in each direction, which are now restricted to one lane in each direction. The lane closures will remain in place until construction is completed at the end of next year.
The existing bridge has two, 12-foot travel lanes in each direction, with narrow shoulders and four-foot sidewalks on each side. The lanes will be reconfigured to include one, 11-foot travel lane in each direction, plus one, 14-foot shared-use lane in each direction. The shared-use lanes will accommodate both motorists and bicyclists following the signed State Bike Route 5 over the bridge.
The west side of the bridge will feature a five-foot sidewalk, which will comply with current Americans with Disabilities Act standards. The east side of the bridge will feature a 10-foot multi-use path for pedestrians and bicyclists. The multi-use path will connect existing paths on both sides of the river and attach Schenectady’s downtown area and Schenectady Community College with Scotia parks, a library and other village amenities. It also is consistent with the City of Schenectady Urban Bike Route Master Plan, created in 2001.
The work is part of a $31.3 million contract through the NY Works program for critical repairs to 13 bridges in the North Country and Capital Region. The construction contractor for the project is Kubricky Construction Corp. of Wilton, Saratoga County and the design consultant is VHB Engineering, Surveying & Landscaping Architecture of Albany.
Design-build is a centerpiece of the NY Works program, providing a cost effective way to move construction projects quickly by allowing design and construction teams to innovate and develop best methods to improve New York’s bridges and highways. To expedite job creation and critical infrastructure repair projects across the state, Governor Cuomo worked with the Legislature last year to put the design-build process in place. Design-build allows for the combining of design and construction services into single contracts to help expedite repair work to vital infrastructure and save taxpayer money.
NY Works focuses on improving bridges that are in fair condition and bringing them to good condition. This rehabilitation work will better preserve the state’s infrastructure and guard against the need for more costly, in-depth construction. Bundling projects sites within close geographic locations into a single contract enables DOT to lower expenses and obtain lower bids.
Motorists may encounter flaggers directing traffic and should drive with caution.
For real-time travel information, call 511 or visit www.511NY.org. 511NY is New York State's official traffic and travel information source. The 511NY site and mobile app provides free, 24/7, statewide real-time traffic and transit information for all of New York State. It also offers a transit trip planner, camera views, as well as weather alerts and forecasts. New features available at the website include additional mobile app features, border crossing times, new notifications on the home page, and an interface that is easier to navigate.