Full Albany Airport Connector Project to be Completed One Year Ahead of Schedule
Exit 3 Opening Is Major Step in Completion of Project Delayed for Decades
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the new southbound off-ramp from the Adirondack Northway (Interstate 87) to Albany Shaker Road inColonie, Albany County will open this morning. The exit opening is ahead of schedule and the entire project is slated to be completed in the next several weeks one year ahead of schedule. This completion is another step toward the conclusion of the Albany Airport Connector project, a $50 million investment that will provide direct access to the Capital Region's major airport and, after 50 years of delay alleviating traffic along the Northway in both directions. The absence of an Exit 3 has been long obvious as the Northway Exits go from exit 2 to Exit 4.
"The opening of this project shows real progress in our commitment to modernize the highway network surrounding Albany International Airport," Governor Cuomo said. "Exit 3 has been talked about for 50 years, and now we are actually getting it done. We've made great progress at the Northway, and we're not finished yet. Opening this exit will allow the Department of Transportation to move traffic to complete the remaining road modifications while we head to the finish line."
The new exit which loops around the back of the Desmond Hotel, connects to a new signalized intersection at Albany Shaker Road, which leads directly to Albany International Airport. This provides a more efficient route to the airport. The next major project is the completion of the Northway Northbound Exit 3.
Additional projects include a new on-ramp from Watervliet-Shaker Road (Route 155) at Exit 5 while minimizing impacts to daily travelers.
The Department of Transportation has continued construction along Albany Shaker Road while minimizing conflicts with active traffic and lessening travel delays. This work includes installing sidewalks on the south side of Albany Shaker Road between the new intersection and Wolf Road. A shared use path between Albany International Airport and the new intersection is also nearly completed. When finished, these new paths will enhance connectivity for pedestrians and bicyclists. Work in this location also includes road surface improvements, traffic signal upgrades, the closure of the old on-ramp to the southbound Northway, and the construction of a new entrance to the Desmond Hotel.
Nearby, work is nearly complete to extend the northbound Northway on-ramp adjacent to the Times Union building all the way to Exit 5 for Route 155. When finished, this will create a longer auxiliary lane that will make it easier for drivers to merge onto the northbound Northway and to depart the highway at Exit 5. Construction of a noise wall on the northbound side between Exits 4 and 5 also nears completion.
Opening this exit will allow the Department of Transportation to move traffic to complete the remaining road modifications while we head to the finish line.
New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez said, "Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, the goal line is in sight for this transformational project. When fully complete, this project will not only make roads around the airport easier for travelers, but further economic development opportunities in the Capital Region."
Senator Neil Breslin said, "The opening of this ramp is a key milestone in the Albany Airport Connector project and means that we are one step closer to the completion of this transformational project. I applaud Governor Cuomo for this smart investment in our infrastructure, which will not only enhance the region's vibrant transportation network, but also help advance economic opportunities for Capital Region residents and businesses."
John O'Donnell, CEO of the Albany County Airport Authority, said, "Our airlines and passengers have continually expressed their support and appreciation for Governor Cuomo's initiative to build the Exit 3 interchange and Airport's new parking garage. Both projects will enhance the customer experience at the Albany International Airport as well as those traveling through the busy Wolf Road Corridor."
NYSDOT recently unveiled a new public service announcement and social media campaign focused on the importance of driving responsibly in work zones.
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