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Malta Town Board looks at number of accidents on Round Lake Road

Tuesday, September 3, 2013
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— The Round Lake Road corridor has slightly more traffic accidents than average, according to traffic engineers who are looking at what improvements may be needed.

The stretch of Round Lake Road between the Ballston town line and Northway Exit 11 has seen 64 accidents over three years, according to Creighton Manning, an Albany traffic engineering firm.

The intersection with Raylinsky and Ruhle roads, however, has had 13 accidents, or nearly twice what would be average, said Stephan W. Godlewski, the project manager. Thirty-nine percent were rear-end collisions.

Overall, he said, there have been a wide variety of accidents, so there’s probably no one solution to lower the crash rate.

“When you have an increase in traffic, you tend to have an increase in accidents,” Godlewski told the Malta Town Board in a presentation Tuesday. “I have seen much worse, but this is above average.”

The statistics provided did not differentiate between serious and minor accidents.

The information came from studies Creighton Manning is doing as the town looks at ways to improve both safety and traffic flow in the busy corridor.

The road now sees as many as 14,800 vehicles per day — and that number is expected to keep growing over the next 20 years because of hiring at GlobalFoundries and residential development in the town of Ballston.

Last January, the Town Board accepted a plan that recommended installing roundabouts at Round Lake’s intersections with Chango Drive and Raylinsky and Ruhle roads to improve traffic flow and safety.

It then hired Creighton Manning and another firm for $580,369 to develop detailed plans and construction bidding documents, with the understanding that traffic lights would still be considered as an alternative to roundabouts, which many residents oppose.

Godlewski said both options are still under consideration.

A public meeting to review all the options in detail will take place at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 18, at the Town Hall.

“We really want to hear what people have to say,” Godlewski said.

He said the goal is to select an alternative this winter, do detailed design and construction bidding next year and start construction in the fall of 2014 or early 2015.

The town has $4.75 million in federal funding available, but there’s a concern it could lose that money if work doesn’t start by late 2014.

A roughly $1 million local share will come from money being paid to the town by GlobalFoundries, assuming it pursues plans to build a second semiconductor manufacturing plant at its Fab 8 site in Luther Forest.

 
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