The Northway bridge over Albany Shaker Road. (Photo via the Adirondack Northway website)
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COLONIE – Construction on a new Exit 4 ramp of the Northway to facilitate traffic to the airport could start as early as next year.
On Monday, April 23, the Albany County Legislatures’ Mass Transit Committee gave the Albany County Airport Authority permission to sell 12 acres of land near the Desmond to the state Department of Transportation for $855,200.
The full Legislature is expected to approve the deal on May 14.
The DOT has been studying the idea for years, and is planning to build the new ramps south of Albany-Shaker Road and west of The Desmond.
“I am hopeful that the new Exit 4 and the redesign of the Shaker Road, Wolf Road and Northway intersection will increase ease of transportation to and from the airport and Wolf Road and reduce congestion on Shaker Road and the adjoining roads and neighborhoods,” said Legislator Paul Burgdorf, a Colonie Republican.
The Airport Authority operates and maintains the airport as part of a 40-year agreement with Albany County made in 1996. In 2016, 1.4 million passengers caught a plane in Albany, and more than 100,000 tons of cargo came through the airport. The number of flights, passengers and cargo weight are all increasing.
“The Albany International Airport is an economic engine that helps drive business and tourism for Albany County and much of upstate New York,” Chairman of the Legislature Andrew Joyce said. “We’re excited to get this long-awaited Exit 4 project off the ground because it will help the airport continue to grow and improve traffic conditions around Wolf and Albany-Shaker roads.”
The Airport Authority acquired the 12 acres through a grant from the Federal Aviation Administration. The Airport must use the $855,200 it receives for the properties on improvement projects at the facility.