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Troy to seek state grant for Congress Street Bridge study

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Troy to seek state grant for Congress Street Bridge study

The city of Troy will pursue state funding to collaborate with the city of Watervliet on a study related to the Congress Street Bridge, which links the two cities, according to a city council finance committee resolution.

The study would consider possible “improvements at the foot of Congress Street Bridge and River Street” in Troy. It would also examine the bridge’s “interaction between the two cities for their respective waterfront connectivity and the intra-municipal connectivity from one side of the river to the other.”

Troy’s recently adopted comprehensive plan details some of the present issues with the Congress Street Bridge:

Traveling through the historic downtown, south on River Street, it is difficult to access [the area between Congress St. and the Poestenkill, which the plan dubs the “Riverside District”]. River Street ends abruptly as it changes from an urban street into a highway on-ramp directly loading vehicles onto the Congress Street Bridge. This street transformation occurs suddenly and results in vehicles unexpectedly finding themselves outside the city and traveling into Watervliet. Along with bisecting River Street and creating a physical barrier to the city center, the Congress Street ramps also prevent the logical southern extension of the area to the Poestenkill. The Congress Street Bridge is an important entryway into Troy and plays a key role in shaping perceptions of the city for both visitors and residents. Currently, impressions of the city at this arrival point are largely negative. The over-designed ramps combined with vacant Troy Housing Projects create an unpleasant image of the city. Although the district is presently underperforming, given its location and its relationship to the surrounding area including [Russell] Sage College, it has tremendous potential to evolve as a logical expansion to the city center generating increased vitality, commerce and tax revenue.

The plan goes on to say that the bridge ramps should be replaced and that the bridge should connect with River St. as a “signalized urban intersection.” The city should study the feasibility of doing that, the plan says, which would “also examine a new street network that includes Front Street running parallel to the Hudson River, the extension of River Street, and the extension of local east-west streets to create a fully connected street grid” in the area.

The city council is slated to approve and endorse the city’s application for funding at a special meeting tonight at 7 P.M. It will also vote on a separate state grant application “to replace and upgrade the equipment and facility at the Knickerbacker Ice Rink to adopt an alternative refrigerant equipment that will comply with current regulations and provide a safer alternative for our environment.” The rink was closed in late January due to maintenance issues.

Below is the section of the new comprehensive plan that discusses plans for the “Riverside District.”

 

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