COHOES, N.Y. (NEWS10) – On Friday, Cohoes has been awarded $4.56 million in federal infrastructure funding for the ‘Columbia Street Pedestrian Accessibility’ and ‘Safe Routes to School’ enhancement projects. The New York State Department of Transportation (NYS-DOT) has allocated funds for the transformational streetscape improvement project on Columbia Street, one of the main arteries through the historic city.

Officials said 80% of the total project costs were made available through the Federal Highway Administration which will be combined with about $1 million from the city’s annual funding through the Touring Routes Program. Construction of nearly three miles of sidewalks, bike lanes, and other enhancements will create a pedestrian-friendly environment including Safe Routes to School.

Upgrades will include new sidewalks, proper curb transitions, and better-marked intersections along with street crossings. Additional plans for the design will create safer pathways to schools and a more walkable community with green infrastructures, and a newly paved road.

According to city officials, Columbia Street is one of the three primary routes through Cohoes which Runs east/west through the center of the city. The route is primary to four of the city’s five public schools from K-12 that include residential and commercial properties, senior assisted housing, the historic Veteran’s Park, and provides access to the community pool at Lansing’s Park.

Subsequently, improvements will also address some of the vexing drainage and water flow issues that have been problematic to the area for years, according to Cohoes City Planner Joe Seman-Graves. The 2.6-mile project is being planned in conjunction with already-funded culvert, sewer, green infrastructure, and sidewalk improvement projects along the corridor designed to address chronic flooding and drainage issues. 

Projects were selected by NYS-DOT, through a competitive solicitation process. Awardees are required to demonstrate how proposed activities would contribute to increasing the use of non-vehicular transportation alternatives, reduce vehicle emissions, and/or mitigate traffic congestion.