Project will Reconnect East and West Sides of Cohoes and Improve Bicycle and Pedestrian Access
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced a $15 million investment to convert Route 787 in Cohoes to a boulevard and create a welcoming, pedestrian-friendly gateway to the city. The project will restore the connection between the east and west sides of the City of Cohoes and feature a boulevard-style road with updated crosswalks and a landscaped median.
"Investing in New York’s transportation infrastructure is critical to creating safe and thriving communities across the state," Governor Cuomo said. "This project will help increase access to downtown, helping to spur growth and help local businesses for years to come."
The $15 million was allocated to the New York State Department of Transportation in the 2017-2018 budget for design and construction of the proposed gateway project, which will require federal approval. DOT is in the process of working with the Federal Highway Administration to reclassify the road to from a freeway to arterial designation, which is the first step in moving the project forward.
New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Matthew J. Driscoll said, "The community has asked for a renewed Cohoes Boulevard, and New York State is answering the call. The new boulevard will serve as a gateway to Cohoes and restore the connections for neighborhoods on both sides of Route 787."
The anticipated proposal features a boulevard-style roadway with a landscaped median and narrower travel lanes on Route 787 — also known as Cohoes Boulevard — through the city limits, from Dyke Avenue to just south of the approach to the Cohoes Waterford Bridge. User-friendly pedestrian crossings at intersection points will help restore the connection for all those who cross Route 787 for work, school, shopping and more between Cohoes’ Van Schaick Island and Simmons Island neighborhoods on the east, and Downtown Cohoes and the Cohoes Hill and Harmony Mills neighborhoods on the west.
Last summer, NYSDOT upgraded crosswalks and installed new pedestrian push-buttons that trigger dedicated exclusive traffic phases for pedestrian crossings at the three intersections of Route 787 within Cohoes.
Following federal approval and public input, DOT expects to complete the design and let the project by early 2018, with construction anticipated to begin in spring 2018. Work is expected to be completed by end of 2019.
Senator Neil Breslin said, "This new gateway project, known as Cohoes Boulevard, will not only spur further economic development in City of Cohoes, it will also make the roadway safer for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists alike. I applaud Governor Cuomo, Commissioner Driscoll and all of my local elected colleagues and advocates who helped made this boulevard possible."
Assemblymember John T. McDonald III said, "I am pleased to have supported this effort in this year’s budget and appreciate the support of Speaker Heastie and Governor Cuomo in this important infrastructure investment in the City of Cohoes. As former Mayor I have advocated for this effort and am pleased to be in the position to see this project become a reality which will be of benefit to the pedestrians and motorists that traverse this busy highway and also present a significant economic development opportunity for the city as well."
Albany County Executive Dan McCoy said, "I commend Governor Cuomo, the Department of Transportation and the Legislature for allocating state funding to help improve pedestrian access to Cohoes and enhancing public safety. This project will bring the city together and provide economic benefits to the city for years to come."
City of Cohoes Mayor Shawn Morse said, "I made a commitment to the citizens of Cohoes that we would improve safety on this highway and turn it into a true boulevard. I want to thank Governor Cuomo and my partners in state government who heard our concerns and moved swiftly to provide a new gateway to our city, improving community connections, pedestrian safety and accessibility. Today is a great day for Cohoes."
Follow New York State DOT on Twitter: @NYSDOT. Find us on Facebook at facebook.com/NYSDOT. For tweets from New York State DOT Region 1 (covering the Capital Region), follow @NYSDOTAlbany.