Governor Cuomo Cuts Ribbon on New Albany Airport Transportation Corridor
The airport transportation corridor project was completed a year ahead of the original 2020 target date and under budget. As part of the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Cuomo also unveiled the renderings for the new gateway welcome sign, designed by the Albany County Airport Authority, to commemorate the transformation of the airport and its transportation corridor.
"A half century of delay and inaction has come to an end with the complete opening of Exit 3 and the completion of the new Albany Airport Transportation Corridor," Cuomo said. "This new exit provides travelers with improved access to Albany International Airport, reduces congestion and fosters continued economic growth in the Capital Region.”
Discussions about an Exit 3 to serve the Albany International Airport have taken place since before the completion of the Adirondack Northway more than 50 years ago. In its original configuration, the Northway went from Exit 2 to Exit 4, both northbound and southbound. It was only in recent years, however, that the plans to add the exit gained momentum.
Exit 3 is part of the Northway-Albany Airport Connector project and one of two state-sponsored projects that will transform the airport. In 2018, the Governor awarded $22.1 million in funding for the airport modernization and $50 million to construct an Albany Airport Connector along the Northway to ease traffic congestion and provide a first-ever direct link to the airport. The direct link is the new Exit 3. The transformation of the corridor follows the recent opening of the new southbound Exit 3 and the ramp connecting Albany Shaker Road to I-87 South.
The $50-million airport connector project included the construction of three new ramps for the new Exit 3 west of I-87 southbound. For northbound Northway traffic, the new ramp travels on a new bridge over the Northway and comes to a new T-intersection with Albany-Shaker Road. For southbound traffic on the Northway, a new off-ramp was built to connect to a flyover ramp that leads to the new intersection.
Northbound Exit 4 remains unchanged. On the southbound side, a new Exit 4 provides more direct access to Wolf Road for local traffic. Albany Shaker Road was also widened with turning lanes and new drainage and curbing was installed. A direct on-ramp from Route 155 at Exit 5 to the southbound Northway was also added. On the northbound side, the on-ramp was extended all the way to Exit 5 for Route 155. A noise wall was added along the northbound side between Exits 4 and 5.
In October 2015, the New York State Department of Transportation completed a $22.3-million project to replace the bridges carrying the Northway over Albany-Shaker Road. This was the first of two phases of work planned at Exit 4. The 2015 project replaced two bridges that were built as part of the original Northway construction in 1959.