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City of Albany debuts pavement preservation plans, with 70 streets in line for resurfacing

The city of Albany is embarking on an ambitious street-paving program.

Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan was joined by city and elected officials Tuesday morning at the corner of Maxwell Street and Whitehall Road as work crews laid new pavement down on Maxwell to highlight a $10 million pavement preservation investment.

"That means more than 50,000 lane feet of road will be resurfaced across all 15 wards," Sheehan said. "We're also going to be microsurfacing seven streets. This new technology extends the life of streets, it reduces the maintenance costs."

DGS Commissioner Sergio Panunzio says the city constantly monitors the conditions of streets.

"We look at roads based on complaints, based on data, traffic obviously," said Panunzio. "If it's in a proximity to a school, that becomes a priority. If it’s a proximity to a business district it's a priority. And then we look at what the condition of the road is. Sometimes a road might not need total reconstruction. We've been kind of identifying those streets and a surface replacement would be better. Some roads are beyond that and they have to be totally reconstructed. And we try to allocate, you know, road conditions to our funding. Obviously, the more money we have, the more roads we can do. “

Sheehan stressed that the money is bonded, not American Rescue Plan funding. 27 sets of sidewalks across the city are also slated for repair.

"This is going to be going on all summer, we will pave as long as the plant stays open and conditions are amenable to being able to do paving," Sheehan said. "You know, obviously, we want to do it in conditions where it's going to extend the life of it, and optimal conditions, we don't want to do it, only to have it break up, you know, because the temperatures were too cold."

Sheehan also noted motorists traversing busy New Scotland Avenue between Manning Boulevard and Capital Hills golf course will soon see some changes.

“This is a road that is heavily traveled to our hospitals. Some drivers believe that it's two lanes, it's confusing. We worked really hard with the community to come up with a new striping, traffic calming alternative for new Scotland Avenue. And we were really challenged in finding the funding, especially during the pandemic, to actually implement that. But that project is currently being designed. It is going to go out to bid in July. And the repaving will include very visible striping that will make it clear New Scotland Avenue is one lane in each direction. And we were able to use the hospital corridor traffic study that St. Peter's hospital helped to fund in order to put together the planning for this work.”

Sheehan says the road paving and striping projects "take a lot of people power," and urges anyone looking for a road crew job to stop by city hall and apply.

Residents can stay up to date with the progress of all the City’s pavement preservation investments in 2022 by visiting https://www.albanyny.gov/2086/2022-Street-Projects

Dave Lucas is WAMC’s Capital Region Bureau Chief. Born and raised in Albany, he’s been involved in nearly every aspect of local radio since 1981. Before joining WAMC, Dave was a reporter and anchor at WGY in Schenectady. Prior to that he hosted talk shows on WYJB and WROW, including the 1999 series of overnight radio broadcasts tracking the JonBenet Ramsey murder case with a cast of callers and characters from all over the world via the internet. In 2012, Dave received a Communicator Award of Distinction for his WAMC news story "Fail: The NYS Flood Panel," which explores whether the damage from Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee could have been prevented or at least curbed. Dave began his radio career as a “morning personality” at WABY in Albany.
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