Letter: Time to redesign and rebuild Exit 4

Editor, The Spotlight:

Albany International Airport is a gateway that connects the Capital Region with businesses, investors and entrepreneurs across the world. In recent years, the airport has benefitted from a number of improvements, including a state-of-the-art terminal, several runway extensions and the realignment of Albany Shaker Road. However, in order to fully realize the potential of Albany International Airport, it is necessary to redesign and rebuild Exit 4 on the Northway.

Exit 4 remains an outdated access point for the airport, resulting in traffic congestion, delays for travelers, and inefficiencies for businesses transporting goods and personnel. Since infrastructure improvements are one of the most important forms of economic development, overhauling Exit 4 would spur job creation in construction and supply sectors, while making travel more efficient and supporting businesses throughout the Capital Region.

That’s why I support the proposal to redesign and rebuild Exit 4 currently under consideration as part of the third round of Governor Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Councils. The proposal would allot $28 million for necessary improvements, paid for by contributions from the Albany County Airport Authority, as well as the county of Albany and the town of Colonie. State and federal transportation dollars would provide additional funding. If approved, this public-private partnership would pay dividends for the region for decades to come.

As the only commercial airport providing access to and from the Capital Region, Albany International is a major point of connectivity that supports many burgeoning industries such as technology, nanoscale science and advanced manufacturing. The proposal to overhaul Exit 4 on the Northway is a promising opportunity to invest in these industries while supporting local businesses and creating the conditions for further economic growth. I believe this is an opportunity we can’t afford to miss.

Phil Steck

State assemblyman, District 110

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