Meeting Minutes

July 5, 2006




Geoff Bornemann, City of Saratoga Springs (Vice Chairman)

Peter Comenzo, Town of Rotterdam

Frank Commisso, Albany Port District Commission

Rocky Ferraro, Capital District Regional Planning Commission

Mike Franchini, Albany County (Chairman)

Fred Howard, Rensselaer County

Stephen Iachetta, Albany County Airport Authority

John Poorman, Capital District Transportation Committee (Secretary)

David Rettig, NYSDOT Region 1

Dede Rudolph, City of Albany

Phil Serafino, New York State Thruway Authority

John Stangle, Town of Colonie

Michael Valentine, Saratoga County

Steve Watts, Town of Halfmoon

Kristina Younger, Capital District Transportation Authority




Robert Hansen, NYSDOT Region 1

Jack Kelley, Luther Forest Technology Campus

Jeff Lipnicky, Town of Bethlehem

Sandra Misiewicz, Capital District Transportation Committee

Sree Nampoothiri, Capital District Transportation Committee

Fred Mastroianni, Foit-Albert Associates

Dennis O’Malley, Village of Green Island

Glenn Posca, Capital District Transportation Committee

Jason Purvis, Capital District Transportation Committee

Paul Reuss, Village of Menands

Steve Szanto, Luther Forest Technology Campus

John Tozzi, Luther Forest Technology Campus

Sean Ward, Village of Green Island




Chairman Franchini opened the meeting at approximately 9:40 am.  He welcomed members and guests who introduced themselves.  There were no requests from visitors to speak to the committee.



Action Items




Approval of the May 3, 2006 Meeting Minutes


The minutes of the May 3, 2006 meeting were approved as written.




Closeout Budget Revisions


John Poorman entertained comments and questions about the previously-distributed revisions.  He was asked if there should be concern about the additional amount committed to Linkage efforts over the past year; he responded that Linkage is proving to be one of the best investments CDTC can make and that the 2006-08 UPWP better reflects the budgetary requirements of Linkage involvement.  Members then concurred with the request revisions to allow year-end closeout.




Mr. Poorman summarized the previously-distributed material on the Luther Forest Technology Campus transportation plan.  The Round Lake Bypass has received state funding commitment.  Dave Rettig reported that the funding will come from existing upstate NYSDOT state funding allocations.  Mr. Poorman noted that the Bypass is considered under CDTC’s terminology as a “community compatibility” project rather than a capacity project.


CDTC will need to update the regional transportation plan to show the Bypass and to re-assess air quality conformity by modeling the impacts of all the Luther Forest Technology Campus transportation plan’s elements.


Jack Kelley and Bob Hansen provided details of existing commitments.  It is expected that a financial plan matching earmarked funding to particular projects will be available by August to allow CDTC to entertain TIP amendments at the August 23 Planning Committee meeting.  CDTC staff will work to have the air quality conformity determination and New Visions amendment on the September 7 Policy Board agenda.


Members agreed to recommend the plan amendment and authorized the air quality conformity review.  Mr. Poorman noted that FHWA has raised the possibility that CDTC may be required to undertake a full plan update in order to meet federal guidance that a 20-year plan horizon remain at the time of a major plan amendment.  CDTC’s New Visions 2025 plan has 19 ½ years remaining in its horizon.





SA225, Commercial Highway Access Improvements


Mr. Hansen noted that project SA225 still has funds that have not been assigned to particular projects.  As part of the Luther Forest Technology Campus transportation plan, NYSDOT is ready to program some of that available funding toward engineering.  A request was made and approved by members to program an additional $0.650 M of available earmarked funds for engineering.  It is expected that amendments to program the balance of the funds will be on the agenda for the August 23 Planning Committee meeting.


A289, Grade Separation of Lincoln Avenue and Amtrak; A342, Morris/Cordell Grade Crossing Separation


Mr. Rettig described the need for the amendment.  Due to uncertainty about the state’s CMAQ-funded high-speed rail initiatives, these two CMAQ-funded rail crossing elimination projects must be deferred beyond the 2005-10 TIP period.  NYSDOT has initiated more modest grade crossing warning device upgrades to deal with safety needs for the foreseeable future.  Members agreed to the project deferrals.  Due to the nature of the action, Policy Board concurrence will be required at its meeting on September 7.


RG29, CDTC Technical Services


Mr. Rettig reported that the proposed amendment will add $250,000 in STP funds to the CDTC technical services contract for the purpose of a joint CDTC-NYSDOT planning effort regarding system planning issues related to the Patroon Island bridge.  The study will address a range of issues germane to the long-range role, design, modal treatment and scale of the bridge in a system context.  Kristina Younger commended NYSDOT on this initiative.  Members approved the amendment.


A477, Green Island Traffic Signals


Mr. Poorman introduced the amendment request, noting that project RG39 is a set-aside for local ITS signal initiatives.  Dennis O’Malley described the project as one which both upgrades antiquated signal equipment and allows integration into alternative routing plans for incidents on the I-787/NY-787 corridor.  A total of $0.190 M would be used of CDTC’s 2006-07 budget for RG39 with the amendment.  The village also requests NYSDOT to examine the cash flow potential to fund the project in the current year.  Members approved the amendment.



Discussion Items





Mr. Poorman shared an updated version of the status report presented to the Policy Board in June.  Work continues with the finance task force, with major issues emerging regarding the adequacy of funding to meet pavement needs.  A color version of the Big Ideas paper is available in draft and the June workshop on Greenway system concepts was successful.  The recent AMD announcement has the effect of increasing the plausibility of major initiatives and regional dialogue on “urgency” can be expected.






Jason Purvis reported that solicitation for Spot Improvement projects will take place at the end of the month.  Mr. Poorman noted that the August Planning Committee agenda will be full, with Enhancement project reviews and 2007-12 TIP and 2007-08 Linkage programs on the agenda.




Mr. Ferraro reported that CDRPC has been assisting with CDTC’s trail surveys as part of the UPWP effort; is participating in CDTC’s Human Service Agency work; has accepted the Global Insight population projections; will have regional employment projections completed by September; and continues to be engaged in 2010 Census preparations.  He noted that CDRPC is participating in a statewide NYSERDA project regarding wind energy and that the joint fiscal analysis effort with CEG is progressing well.





Ms. Younger reported that CDTA has agreed to a new contract with the labor unions; is in the process of awarding BRT contracts for station design ($0.500 M, operating plans ($0.400 M) and branding ($50-75 K); will be unveiling five new Northway Express buses on Friday; has adopted the Saratoga Springs TDP element; and has implemented a new Saratoga Springs visitor’s pass TDM project.





Mr. Rettig reported that the I-90 rehab project is progressing well; the Malta roundabouts appear to be working well; that the Schenectady Crosstown project may experience delays due to problems with the fabrication of pre-cast slabs; that the Slingerlands Bypass is scheduled for a July 27 letting but that the Army Corps permit is outstanding.  Work on a concept for a roundabout at Glenridge and Maple Ave is underway. 


Mr. Hansen reported that Region 1 is involved in a pilot program using special software to improve documentation of construction inspection and change orders on locally-administered federal aid contracts.




Phil Serafino indicated there was nothing major to report.





Albany County Airport Authority


Steve Iachetta reported that the airport has opened $10 M in bids.  Progress on hanger, ramp and security/terminal work continues.


Albany Port District Commission


Frank Commisso reported favorably on current port activity.  Tonnage is up; windmill shipments are a new activity; additional acreage has been acquired for expansion.  The barge service has been discontinued, but may restart.





Bids and Lettings


Mr. Hansen distributed a summary of May-June lettings and July-August scheduled bid openings.  The I-87 Exit 5 bridge was let, with the low bid again higher than the TIP estimate.  Projects SA122 (I-87/D&H), A242 (Slingerlands Bypass) and S129 (Rt 159/Conrail) are scheduled for July.  Discussion ensued regarding problems with bids exceeding engineer’s estimates; Mr. Iachetta reported that the airport is not experiencing the same phenomenon.





The next Planning Committee meeting was scheduled for 9:30 a.m. on August 23, 2006.  There being no other business, the meeting was adjourned at approximately 11:40 a.m.



Respectfully submitted,





John P. Poorman