Construction on Erie Blvd a headache for many - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Construction on Erie Blvd a headache for many

Construction takes place on Erie Blvd. (Photo: NEWS10 ABC) Construction takes place on Erie Blvd. (Photo: NEWS10 ABC)

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. - A construction project on Erie Boulevard in Schenectady has local businesses expressing their frustrations.

The Fix Erie Boulevard Project near State Street intends to make the major roadway safer and more visually appealing, but some say it's a major inconvenience and its taking too long to fix.

The project began about a year-and-a-half ago with $14 million from state and federal funding. It's a project focused on slowing traffic down and fixing sidewalks and crosswalks for pedestrians.

But some businesses in this plaza near the work say it's interrupting their livelihood. Often, some entrances to the plaza are blocked off and traffic near the construction becomes backed-up.

"They sick of it. I think the whole community is sick of Erie Boulevard what's going on. They need to put a stop, they need to finish the job that they're doing. When are they going to finish ?" said Whelimina, an employee at Regina Check Cashing and Financial Services.

Whelimina is just one of the many Schenectady businesses in a plaza asking questions about the Fix Erie Boulevard Project.

"It is disturbing you to drive. I don't know what the hell they're doing. We need to know what they're doing," said Whelimina.

Kelly Cowell manager of Katie O'Byrnes wants answers too.

"It's impacted our lunch business specifically because of the blocking off of the entrance way over here on this side where a lot of people who drive by wouldn't know that we have another entrance on the other side," said Cowell.

I took these frustrations to Schenectady civil engineer Peter Knutson. He says workers have come across unforeseen issues including old infrastructure and utilities below ground that had to be repaired. As for a timeline, Knutson says fall 2013 was the completion date but with the set backs the city is now asking for help.


"We're talking with the state and looking at a cost benefit analysis of accelerating the schedule to try and get it done as soon as possible," said Knutson.

Cowell says she wants something done about the problem.


"Well a sign would be nice maybe in the main sidewalk out there just to say there is another entrance," said Cowell.

"They have to all be New York State DOT approved signage, but we can get signs and increase signage if a business has issues with it," said Knutson in response.

The city says that if the state can help accelerate the project they could be done this Fall season but if not it could go into the Spring.


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