Project to Improve Safety, Traffic Flow in Schenectady County
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that a $4.6 million project to reconfigure the Interstate 890 Exit 4 interchange in the city of Schenectady and town of Rotterdam in Schenectady County will begin April 25. The project, near General Electric and Schenectady County Community College, will improve traffic flow at the interchange by removing the inner loop of the existing two-loop interchange, and by constructing new ramps to connect the outer loop to I-890.
"For years, the I-890 interchange has proven to be a difficult section of roadway to navigate for the thousands of motorists who live, learn, work and play in downtown Schenectady," Governor Cuomo said. "By improving and modernizing this interchange, we are helping provide more efficient access to and from the interstate and improving the quality of life for Capital Region residents."
Once complete, the new configuration will eliminate the existing traffic pattern that requires motorists to cross multiple travel lanes to get from Washington Avenue onto the inner loop, which currently provides access to eastbound I-890 and Erie Boulevard. Motorists will instead use the existing outer loop and a new ramp that provides direct access to eastbound I-890.
New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Matthew J. Driscoll said, "The interchange at Exit 4 of Interstate 890 was built at a different time for different traffic needs. These changes will make travel easier and safer for residents, commuters, students and visitors to and from Schenectady, Scotia, Rotterdam and beyond."
The project will remove the Exit 4B off-ramp from westbound I-890. A new Exit 4B off-ramp will be installed slightly to the east of the old ramp, to better match the new traffic pattern. The Exit 4B off-ramp will also be removed from eastbound I-890 to Erie Boulevard to improve mobility and avoid traffic conflicts. Access to Erie Boulevard from eastbound I-890 will be available from Exit 4A, less than a quarter-mile away.
Minor modifications will be made to the interchange's connection to Erie Boulevard to improve traffic flow. Overhead sign structures at the interchange will be replaced, and drainage will be repaired.
The construction contractor for the project is Rifenburg Construction, Inc. of Troy, Rensselaer County.
Detours and lane closures will be in place for different stages of construction. Motorists must use caution and obey posted speed limits and traffic signs within the work zones.
The inner loop will be permanently closed after the new on-ramp is constructed, which is expected to occur by the middle of June.
Senator Hugh Farley said, "This is a critical interchange in the City, but the current configuration has long presented problems for motorists. This project will make the interchange safer and also improve traffic flow, which will greatly benefit residents, commuters and visitors alike. I am pleased that New York State is making this vital investment in improving our transportation infrastructure."
Senator George Amedore said, "By updating the I-890 interchange, we are taking steps to improve the safety and efficiency of travelling within Schenectady County. This investment in our infrastructure will ensure that residents and visitors alike can safely travel to and from work, as well as the various businesses, restaurants and schools that our area has to offer."
Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara said, "Over the last decade, we have seen the transformation of Downtown Schenectady into a vibrant upstate destination – and our work is only just beginning. 21st Century infrastructure, roads, bridges and the latest engineering and technology will ensure the future success of this upstate destination. This project is the next step to make certain that the progress continues for our area of Upstate New York."
Schenectady County Board of Supervisors Chair Anthony Jasenski said, "Thank you Governor Cuomo for supporting this important project that will vastly improve safety at this major intersection into Schenectady County. As Schenectady County continues to grow, we need to ensure our infrastructure meets the needs of our residents and the thousands of visitors that will use this interchange to access all that we have to offer such as Proctors, the soon to be built Rivers Resort and Casino, and our thriving downtown."
Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy said, "I applaud Governor Cuomo and Commissioner Driscoll for initiating this project. The changes will make access to the interchange easier and safer for those who live in and around Schenectady."
Motorists are reminded that fines are doubled for speeding in a work zone. In accordance with the Work Zone Safety Act of 2005, convictions of two or more speeding violations in a work zone could result in the suspension of an individual’s driver’s license.
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