Updated 07/05/2012 01:56 PM
Reopening of Fuller Rd. is good news for drivers and businesses
If you're tired of the detours and delays on Fuller Road, you're in luck. Albany County announced Thursday that construction there is finally over. Officials said the busy thoroughfare will now be safer and less congested, while businesses hope it means their customers will return. Our Megan Cruz has the story.
To view our videos, you need to
install Adobe Flash 9 or above. Install now.
Then come back here and refresh the page.
ALBANY, N.Y. -- "Business is generally good," said Don Fittizzi, owner of the Deli Warehouse. "71 Fuller Road is a good location. We've been here now five years."
But since 2010, Fittizzi says his business has taken a turn for the worse. He blames a 20 percent drop in revenue on the Fuller Road construction project.
"You couldn't get in, people couldn't shop, people are leery about change and the mess that's there, and half the road is not working," he said.
As of Thursday though, local officials say Fuller Road is back open. Good news for businesses, as well as the estimated 30,000 drivers who use the thoroughfare daily.
"This is about convenience, this is about public safety, this is about investing our money wisely," said Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings.
"Most important thing is that it does relieve the congestion," said Colonie Supervisor Paula Mahan. "It takes time to get used to the roundabout and new traffic patterns, but they certainly do work."
"Hopefully this gives them a better experience when they go to the Party Warehouse or the Deli Warehouse," said Albany County Executive Dan McCoy. "They can get in quicker, they can get out quicker without having to be stuck in traffic."
McCoy also said bicyclists and pedestrians will also notice some major improvements.
"We have a good population of UAlbany students that walk to Crossgates," he said. "It's dangerous. So by us putting up walkways and bike lanes, it'll be easier for them to get to Crossgates, to this park by the I-90 roundabout, even to Colonie Center."
But while Fuller Road is complete, work still continues over here on Washington Avenue Extension. The State Department of Transportation is building two flyover bridges and a roundabout to ease even more of the area's congestion. That's why Fittizzi says his frustration is far from over.
"A lot of our business is on the other side and that, of course, is where the construction is being done now," he said.
The DOT expects to be done in November. Until then, Fittizzi said all he could do is hang tight, saying it'll all be worth it down the road.
"Once the road is opened up, it's definitely going to bring us more customers," he said.
The project cost $14 million, but that cost is shared by the county, state, and federal government.