Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the completion of a $4.6 million project to reconfigure the Interstate 890 Exit 4 interchange in the City of Schenectady and Town of Rotterdam in Schenectady County. The new interchange will ease traffic and improve safety for travelers.
“This interchange is at the very heart of Schenectady County, connecting commuters and visitors to GE and the community college with the city’s bustling downtown, filled with new businesses and a growing arts district,” Governor Cuomo said. “This transformative project supports our efforts to revitalize New York’s transportation infrastructure by making travel safer, more reliable and more convenient for all.”
The project, near General Electric and Schenectady County Community College, removed the inner loop of the existing two-loop interchange and constructed two new ramps to allow travelers on the outer loop to merge onto I-890.
New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Matthew J. Driscoll said, “Governor Cuomo knows that transportation is the key to a robust economy, and ease of travel is a vital element of that. Motorists will find the improvements completed here will make their commute safer and smoother in getting to downtown Schenectady, GE, Schenectady County Community College and beyond.”
The interchange was first built in the 1960s using two loops — one inside the other — to manage traffic at Exit 4 bound for Erie Boulevard, Edison Avenue, GE, and a few years later, Schenectady County Community College.
The project included closing the inner loop and updating the outer loop to eliminate a traffic pattern that previously required motorists to cross multiple travel laves to get from Washington Avenue to the on-ramp for eastbound I-890. The old inner loop — colloquially known as the “Little Circle” — was permanently closed in June and filled with 11,300 cubic yards of earth.
Other traffic improvements were made with the construction of a new on-ramp to better connect the remaining outer loop to eastbound I-890. A new off-ramp was also built at Exit 4B for westbound I-890 motorists to match the new traffic pattern. In addition, the I-890 eastbound Exit 4B off-ramp was removed to avoid traffic conflicts; motorists that formerly used this ramp to reach Erie Boulevard now use the pre-existing Exit 4A.
In total, the project utilized approximately 33,800 cubic yards of earth to fill in the former inner loop and old ramps.
Senator Hugh T. Farley said, “I applaud the State’s efforts to make important infrastructure investments in our communities. The completion of this transportation project is of great benefit to the City and County of Schenectady. It is a smart investment which fixes a safety problem and improves the flow of traffic.”
Senator George Amedore said, “The updated I-890 interchange will help improve traffic flow and allow travelers to move through Schenectady County more efficiently. This investment in our infrastructure ensures that residents and visitors alike can safely travel to and from work, as well as the various businesses, restaurants and schools that our area has to offer.”
Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara said, “We continue to see more and more progress in Downtown Schenectady each day, transforming our area into a regional destination – and the momentum is building. These smart investments in infrastructure will keep the progress going, attracting more business, boosting the local economy, bringing more local jobs back to the Schenectady area and supporting our families.”
Chairman of the Schenectady County Legislature Anthony Jasenski said, “Thank you Governor Cuomo for supporting this important project that will vastly improve safety at this major intersection into Schenectady County. Improving our infrastructure is so important as Schenectady County continues to grow, ensuring that we are meeting the needs of our residents and the thousands of visitors that will use this interchange to access all that we have to offer such as Proctors, the soon to be built Rivers Resort and Casino, and our thriving downtown.”
Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy said, “This reconfiguration improves the safety and efficiency at a major entrance to our City and will help both residents and visitors access the many great developments in our downtown and neighborhoods. We thank Governor Cuomo this important investment in Schenectady and for his commitment to our community.”
Schenectady Metroplex Development Authority Chairman Ray Gillen said, “We are very grateful to Governor Cuomo and to the NYSDOT for dramatically improving the Exit 4 interchange of I-890. This project makes it much easier to access our revitalized downtown.”
The project also involved replacing large overhead sign structures at the interchange, as well as making repairs to the drainage system.
Motorists will continue to see construction signage over the next two weeks as minor post-construction operations are finished ahead of their scheduled mid-November completion, including final sign installations and sidewalk repairs near GE.
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