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Airport hoping for exit three

The project could improve traffic on Wolf Road, which features a number of commercial buildings that generate a high volume of cars, Van Keuren said.

Doug Myers, a spokesman for Albany International Airport, said airport officials have been pushing for better access to the airport for years and quipped that if there was an exit three, "you'd already be on the Northway."

John O'Donnell, chief executive officer of the Albany County Airport Authority and a civil engineer, said he is aware that DOT is interested in a bridge replacement for exit four sometime down the road, but is hopeful that a larger commitment could be made.

"We would like to see a much greater investment in that intersection," he said.

O'Donnell said other options are being discussed by DOT, such as a single point urban interchange, or SPUI, that would increase traffic flow at exit four without creating a new exit, but that alternative is not a first choice.

"You can move a large amount of cars through at one time," he said of a SPUI.

While a SPUI is something being considered by DOT O'Donnell said he would consider that a compromise. And prefers a full-on construction of an exit south of exit four.

The construction to exit six, just north of the airport is a SPUI, and O'Donnell said DOT will have the benefit of gauging its success before moving forward with this project.

O'Donnell said his biggest concerns are traffic flow and easy access to the airport, which could be confusing for people who do not know the area well.

He said with the growth of Latham, Colonie and Tech Valley, and with contributors like Global Foundries, the region is expected to rapidly grow in population and traffic, and any construction to the bridge over I-87 or a new exit should reflect that possibility.

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