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Niskayuna roads to get safety upgrades

The residents of Niskayuna will finally be getting road improvements on one of the more dangerous intersections in town -- Providence and Hillside avenues, and a large portion of the project will receive federal funding.

On Friday, Sept. 26, Schenectady County officials announced that they secured $168,000 in federal funding allocated through the Capital District Transportation Committee for safety improvements at the intersection. The project is expected to cost the county $210,000, and the grant will cover 80 percent of those costs.

After concerns were raised about this intersection, we worked closely with the town to seek funding for improvements, said Susan E. Savage, chairwoman of the Schenectady County Legislature. "This funding will help offset a majority of the expense associated with this important project."

The project will include the replacement of the current stop sign controlled four-way intersection with a traffic signal that will have controlled pedestrian crossings, crosswalks and sidewalks. A turn lane may be constructed on Providence Avenue to facilitate right turns onto Hillside Avenue.

Niskayuna Supervisor Joe Landry said the town is pleased the county was able to get the funding to move the project forward.

"Besides improving safety for motorists, the project is expected to also protect bicyclists and pedestrians," Landry said.

The project may also be eligible for additional federal funding to make the area safer and more accessible to walkers, bikers and drivers, and the town and county will be pursuing those additional funds.

The new signal is designed to reduce congestion and improve safety at an intersection that has experienced a high number of accidents. It is also consistent with both the town and county's plan to develop remaining parcels at the Niskayuna Tech Park located on Hillside Avenue. The Tech Park is currently home to Unilux Advanced Manufacturing's new 67,000-square-foot building, as well as a number of tenants in the 190,000-square-foot former Nova Bus facility, which is now fully occupied. The county's economic development team, including Metroplex, is currently marketing shovel-ready sites in the business park.

The county expects work on the intersection improvements to begin with project design in late 2008 and early 2009 with construction to follow in the summer of 2009.""

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