DOT to discuss Round Lake intersection

The Department of Transportation is seeking public input on plans to alter the corner of Route 9 and George Avenue in Round Lake. The public meeting, scheduled for 7 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 24, at the Round Lake Fire House, promises to be much like the forum held in February when plans for the project were initially unveiled.

The overall concept has remained much the same since then, but the DOT wants to continue taking comments and keep the public up to date.

One of the fundamental things we need is feedback from the public, said DOT spokesman Peter Van Keuren. "We don't live in these areas, and there is certainly the local perspective that we need to get."

The preferred plan the DOT will present involves realigning George Avenue so that it intersects Route 9 at a right angle instead of the skewed approach motorists now take. In addition, the DOT would like to terminate Maltaville Road near its intersection with Route 9 to cut down on traffic that would use that road as a shortcut to Route 67 and the Mechanicville area.

"We're looking at it from a safety standpoint," said Van Keuren. He said that he was not aware of a high number of accidents at the intersection, but skewed intersections can be more difficult to navigate.

"Oftentimes if we're in the area, we'll redesign the intersection to come in at more of a right angle," he said.

The proposed plans call for a "hammerhead" end to Maltaville Road, where two strips of roadway would be added to the end of the road to make turnarounds easier. By cutting it off from George Avenue, which runs straight through the village, travelers may be enticed to go around Round Lake.

The DOT has been working to cut down on through traffic in Round Lake, which was greatly helped by the opening of the 1.6-mile Round Lake Bypass in July. That encouraged northbound and southbound traffic to avoid the village of 625, and cutting off Maltaville should do much the same for east-west travelers.

With a GlobalFoundries microchip manufacturing plant being built just up Route 9 in Malta, traffic in the area is expected to increase substantially in the coming years. In addition to rerouting traffic, the DOT plans to develop "gateways" into Round Lake and surrounding areas. To that end, decorative signage will be installed at George Avenue.

DOT has budgeted $750,000 for the project, which is tentatively slated for next summer. If all goes well, the new intersection could be open to traffic in November 2010.""

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