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Airport hoping for exit three

As DOT plans a $12 million project to improve exit four off the Northway, Albany International Airport officials said they are hopeful more funding will be made available to build an exit three.

Improvements have been planned for decades, and a notable 1995 proposal made by Gov. Mario Cuomo planned $88 million to improve transportation and construct an exit. Another 2004 plan had an exit in the works by spring of 2009, which never came to fruition, according to the Albany County Airport Authority.

The New York State Department of Transportation is now planning for a project that would repair the bridge over the Northway at exit four, and it is unclear if airport infrastructure will be improved beyond that.

Those bridges over Albany-Shaker Road have to be replaced, said Peter Van Keuren, a spokesman for DOT.

Clough Harbour is the design consultant for the project and Phase I of the project would be to replace the bridges for the Northway over Albany-Shaker Road. That project alone would come with a $12 million price tag.

He said beyond that depends on the government's pocket book.

"Funding we still have to find out about. We don't know exactly what's going to be done with that," Van Keuren said. "The more major the project, the bigger the price tag."

Development for proposed project began in 2005, and opening bids are expected in the fall of 2012. Construction is planned to begin in the winter months leading into 2013 and the project is expecting to be completed by fall, 2015, according to information from DOT.

"Once we have a final design it goes out to bid for a contractor to actually do the work," he said.

The bridge replacement will come from state and federal funding and the Capital District Transportation Committee will help coordinate the project.

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