NYS DOT has developed possible solutions to treacherous I-890 merger

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The New York State Department of Transportation has developed three possible solutions to the dangerous merge near I-890 and Erie Boulevard.

It’s considered one of the most accident prone areas in the Capital Region. The merge near I-890 and Erie Boulevard in Schenectady is near General Electric and Schenectady County Community College.

To exit eastbound on 890 off Washington Avenue, motorists need to cross four lanes of traffic in 12 seconds. NYS DOT Spokesman Bryan Viggiani said a lot of crashes happen there.

“More than the average or number of expected accidents at this location,” he said. “Largely of the variety of sideswipes or rear ending.”

In late 2014, $3.3 million in funding was approved to restructure the area. The state DOT made three proposals.

The first two proposals would eliminate the 890 East exit, or the inner little circle.

“It would eliminate that maneuver that you see where motorists come out of Washington Avenue, and they cut across the three or four lanes and GE on immediately to 890,” Viggiani said.

Instead, drivers would do a full loop on the larger circle and get on 890 East with a new ramp.

“The third alternative – we’d leave that little circle in, but we’d eliminate that maneuver,” Viggiani explained. “We wouldn’t let you make that maneuver from Washington Avenue. We’d put up a physical barrier.”

As a result, drivers would loop around to a new on ramp.

The Department of Transportation said it will present the designs to the public in hearings in the spring. After receiving feedback, the DOT will study the choices and construction could begin in early 2016.

Once started, it’s expected to take one construction season to complete.

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