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Colonie moves forward with road updates

A $3.8 million contract has been awarded to the Hudson River Construction company to resurface nearly nine miles of state roads in Colonie.

Last week, Thomas Werner, director of the state Department of Transportation's Capital District office, announced that portions of Route 2, from Exit 6 of Interstate 87 to the Watervliet City line, and Route 9, from Colonie's border with the city of Albany to just north of Route 9R, will be milled and resurfaced.

Work will also include new and improved drainage, and guide rail and striping improvements.

The roads are some of the busiest in the county, said Werner. Route 2 (Troy-Schenectady Road) is traveled by about 22,000 vehicles a day, while the portion of Route 9 slated for resurfacing sees as many as 30,000 vehicles per day, according to DOT figures.

The state will also resurface a portion of state Route 7, between Exit 6 and Wade Road.

No work will be done to the Latham Circle or the Exit 6 bridge over I-87. Plans are still in the works for that bridge. However, a proposal is just around the corner, said Peter Van Keuren, DOT spokesman. That's why crews aren't touching the bridge just yet, he said.

It's still in final design. We are still looking at alternatives, he said. "It's at least a year away."

More than a year ago state DOT engineers proposed two designs for the new bridge at Exit 6.

The two options are what have been called an expanded diamond design and a single point urban interchange.

The expanded diamond is identical to what exits at the exit now. However, the bridge will be expanded to allow multiple turning lanes to access I-87 north and southbound lanes from Route 7.

Talks among DOT and town officials have dealt mainly with moving traffic through the troubled area. The DOT has made replacing the aging bridge, roughly 45 years old, its main priority. But, traffic flow is a close second. The two designs met both criteria in addition to project costs. Initial estimates put the cost at $16 million to $16.5 million.

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