County draws plans for Fuller/Washington intersection

Public will have chance to comment at July 22 meeting

If you're in one of the roughly 60,000 vehicles that travel daily through the intersection of Fuller Road and Washington Avenue Extension, you know what the traffic there's like.

There are significant delays because of the amount of traffic that's trying to go through there, said Albany County Director of Operations Michael Franchini. "It's huge."

With the University at Albany and its College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering at the corner, Western Avenue to the South, Central Avenue to the North and I-87 and I-90 interchanges nearby, the county is looking to make this road easier for Capital District residents to traverse. Public input is being sought before a design is finalized.

At the moment, there are three designs on the table (four if you count the option of doing nothing to the intersection).

The first would be to build a new signalized intersection, the second would include a two-lane roundabout and the third would also involve the construction of a roundabout, but include a bridge over the circle for Washington Avenue Extension through traffic.

That would be the most costly option, at about $22 million total (alternatives one and two would weigh in at about $6 to $6.5 million). The county would put in $3 million, federal funds would cover $2 million and state funding would cover the remainder ($17 million in the last case).

The county favors the split roadway, which would let Washington Avenue traffic bridge the intersection entirely, removing about a third of the traffic. That would make it possible to build a smaller roundabout, which would increase pedestrian and bicycle access, said Franchini.

"The intersection is very big and it's very difficult for bicycles and pedestrians to navigate through the intersection," he said. "If we build alternative three, the vehicle movements, all the movements through the intersection would be improved to service level B."

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