Gov. Andrew Cuomo has announced plans for a new Exit 3 to provide more direct access to Albany International Airport and alleviate traffic along the Northway, both northbound and southbound.
The new exit, which had been talked about for 50 years, is a key aspect in the airport’s $104.6 million modernization which includes construction of a new parking garage and rehabilitation of the airport terminal.
“For 50 years people talked about and studied how to build direct access to Albany Airport, but it never materialized,” Governor Cuomo said in a statement. “Now we are actually getting it done and the new Exit 3 will cut traffic, accelerate access to the airport, improve the environment and demonstrate once again that when you put investment together with action and competence – you get dynamite and it creates a great economic explosion like the one we are seeing in the Capital Region and across Upstate.”
The Exit 3 announcement comes with updates on two state-sponsored projects that will transform the airport and construct a new highway connector to it from the Adirondack Northway (I-87) in Colonie, Albany County.
Last August, the governor awarded $22.1 million in funding for the airport modernization and also announced $50 million to construct an Albany Airport Connector along the Northway, which will ease traffic congestion and provide a first-ever direct link to the airport. This direct link to the airport will now be the new Exit 3.
The two projects have progressed quickly since they began last fall, with the Albany Airport Connector project progressing ahead of schedule with an anticipated opening of late 2019, a year ahead of the original 2020 target date.