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Businesses, community weigh in on Northway construction plans

COLONIE The Department of Transportation held a public hearing on a planned Northway bridge repair Tuesday night. The proposal would keep all lanes of traffic on I-87 open while the aging bridge taking traffic over Albany-Shaker Road is replaced.

There is a lot of room between the two bridges between the north span and south span. Were going to use some of that room to our advantage and build the new structure while the existing structure is there, said Bryan Viggiani, spokesman for the DOT.

Long-term, the DOT wants to improve Exit 4 by connecting it to Albany International Airport and northern Wolf Road, but has yet to secure funding from the state and federal government.

Current estimates would start construction in 2019 and continue until 2021.

We're pressing you folks [DOT] and our elected officials to find the funding quickly so these people that are traveling from outside the area don't have to navigate this problem, said Airport CEO John ODonnell.

Businesses along Wolf Road are also optimistic about the potential for improved traffic flow and hope it will help drive more people to the area.

Its very heavily trafficked, but it doesnt stop people, said Aliki Serras, owner of Reel Seafood Co. I have to believe Wolf Road being a destination in it of itself and of course Reel Seafood Co. with our long standing reputation that I cant imagine that our customers will be that deterred traffic or not.