Meeting Minutes

December 3, 2008



Melissa Ashline-Heil, City of Cohoes

Bradley Birge, City of Saratoga Springs

Wayne Bonesteel, representing Fred Howard, Rensselaer County

Peter Comenzo, Town of Rotterdam

Frank Commisso, Albany Port Commission

Todd Fabozzi, representing Rocky Ferraro, Capital District Regional Planning Commission

Michael Franchini, Albany County (Chairman)

Robert Hansen, NYS Department of Transportation Region 1

Bruce Hidley, City of Watervliet

Marybeth Pettit, City of Rensselaer

Joe Rich, Federal Highway Administration

Bill Roehr, City of Troy

Dede Rudolph, City of Albany

Phil Serafino, representing Bill Rinaldi, NYS Thruway Authority

Bernie Sisson, City of Schenectady

Steve Watts, Town of Halfmoon

Kristina Younger, Capital District Transportation Authority (Vice-Chair)




Anne Benware, Capital District Transportation Committee

Frank Bonafide, NYS Department of Transportation Region 1

Dan Byer, Federal Highway Administration

Jennifer Ceponis, Capital District Transportation Committee

Rob Cherry, NYS Department of Transportation Region 1

Jim Digioia, NYS Office of General Services

Christina Douglas, Clough Harbour

Shelly Johnston, Creighton Manning

David Jukins, Capital District Transportation Committee

Mary Anne Mariotti, NYS Department of Transportation Region 1

Douglas Melnick, City of Albany

Sandra Misiewicz, Capital District Transportation Committee

Larry Mulvaney, NYS Department of Transportation Region 1

Rosemary Nichols, City of Watervliet

Chris O’Neill, Capital District Transportation Committee

Glenn Posca, Capital District Transportation Committee

Jason Purvis, Capital District Transportation Committee

Paul Reuss, Village of Menands

Ron Shaffer, NYS Department of Transportation Region 1

Deborah Stacey, Capital District Transportation Committee

Michael Wieszchowski, Laberge Group

Karen Williams, NYS Department of Transportation Region 1





Chairman Franchini opened the meeting at approximately 9:35 am.  There were no visitor’s issues.


Action Items




Approval of the November 5, 2008 Meeting Minutes


The meeting notes from the November 5th meeting were approved as written.





Proposed amendments to TIP projects RG28, ITS Implementation and RG37A TMC Operating Costs were discussed.  NYSDOT requested that $750,000 in CMAQ funds be transferred from RG28 to RG37A for the design of the new TMC and telecommunication system.  The changes were determined to be consistent with the region's TMC Freeway Operations Management Initiative.NYSDOT is requesting a fund source switch from CMAQ to STP Flex.  NYSDOT would like to move $750,000 in CMAQ from RG28 and will add the $750,000 to RG37A in STP Flex.  Members approved the TIP amendments.


Discussion Items




Joe Rich from FHWA provided a PowerPoint presentation that reviewed the MPO certification process and provided information on CDTC’s certification results.  Joe reminded members that all MPOs go through the certification process once every four years.  He stated that the certification does not just evaluate staff, but it also evaluates the MPO process.  The certification review ensures that the MPO is meeting federal regulations and also identifies “best practices” that can be shared with other MPOs.


CDTC’s certification review resulted in FHWA/FTA citing twelve noteworthy practices for CDTC.  It is unusual for an MPO to be cited with more than three noteworthy practices; FHWA commends CDTC in this area.


FHWA/FTA identified three corrective actions and four recommendations as a result of CDTC’s certification review.  The three corrective actions are as follows:


Transportation Improvement Program

• The State, the MPO(s) and the public transportation operators must cooperatively develop a TIP financial budget as the next TIP is being developed.



• As CDTC updates its Prospectus, it must include specific provisions for cooperatively developing and sharing information related to the development of financial plans that support the

metropolitan transportation plan. This must be accomplished by June 1, 2009.





Air Quality Agreements

• Within six months after the NYSDEC develops a specific emissions budget in the SIP for the Capital District nonattainment area, a Memorandum of Understanding must be developed describing the process for cooperative planning and analysis of all projects outside the MPA within the nonattainment or maintenance area.  The

agreement must also indicate how the total transportation-related emissions for the nonattainment or maintenance area, including areas outside the MPA, will be treated for determining conformity. The MOU needs to also contain information on how the CDTC and Adirondack/Glens Falls Transportation Council (AGFTC) coordinate the conformity process in the Town of Moreau.


The four recommendations identified are:


Organizational Structure

• CDTC should update its Prospectus to reflect current working relationships and federal regulations.


Transportation Improvement Program

• CDTC should revaluate its Guideline for TIP Changes in light of the new definitions of Amendment and Administrative Adjustment. Also, the Guideline should address a “toll credit” action, whereby the State wants to change the Federal share on a project to 100%.


Public Involvement

• CDTC should work to clarify the relationship between TIP and the STIP information on their website.


Security Planning

• CDTC should open a discussion with its members on it appropriate role in furthering the coordination and cooperation among member agencies on the security issue.


CDTC is in receipt of the entire Certification review report in PDF format for those members that are interested in reviewing the document in its entirety.





Bob Hansen from NYSDOT Region 1 gave a presentation on the Region’s Programming Issues.  This PowerPoint was presented to the Commissioner a few weeks ago.  Staffs from many of the MPOs attended that presentation.


Bob reviewed the region’s investment strategy:

1.    Increase the “core” to allow flexibility to deal with the most pressing corrective and demand maintenance and repairs

2.    Maintain bridge safety assurance

3.    Limit linear pavement work to interstates

4.    Develop a comprehensive bridge preservation program for high function bridges



Twelve percent of the core program funds are allocated to operations, which used to be paid out of the general fund.  This has created a tighter than expected budget.  Thirty-two percent of the core budget is for bridges, 21% for construction, 16% for safety, and 15% for pavement.  Region 1 has 1900 bridges; $20 million a year is needed over the next 5 years to address bridge deficiencies.  It would cost $3.5 billion to replace all the bridges at their 50 year life.  The new program allocates 51% of the budget to the “core” vs. the 28.2% that was allocated during the last program update.  Bridge allocations consume 42% vs. 33.4%; pavement 6% vs. 38.1% and operations/environment 1% vs. 0.3%.  Bob finished his presentation by identifying the major planned accomplishments for the state system:


        525 pavement lane miles addressed (of 4800)

        52 State Bridges replaced or rehabilitated

        400+ State bridges to receive corrective maintenance

        150 large culverts replaced or re-barreled

        750,000+ LF of Guide Rail replaced





2009-14 Program Update—Issues for Discussion


NYSDOT has not provided final programming figures for staff to work with.  CDTC and NYSDOT staffs are in daily contact regarding this issue.  The figures must be received in time for the January 7th Planning Committee meeting.


Bids and Lettings


The bid for the Batchellerville Bridge was $22 million greater than the TIP estimate.  Part of this huge cost differential is due to the amount of under water work that is required, which is very costly.  NYSDOT has contacted the Hudson River Black River Regulating District (HRBRRD) to request that the lake level be lowered significantly while the in-water bridge work is conducted.  If the HRBRRD agrees, the cost estimate could be reduced by $5-10 million.  The department is also looking at other ways to reduce the cost of the bridge.  One cost reduction measure would be to eliminate the bicycle/pedestrian walkway.  The department will not recommend award of this project until these issues can be resolved.  Accepting the bid would require CDTC to find a $22 million offset.  Bob Hansen noted that a $22 million offset would mean that two years of the region's HBRR program would have to be delayed.




CDTC has been asked by NYSDOT and FHWA to put together a list of potential projects that would be eligible for federal stimulus funding assuming it will become available early next year.  Projects should be eligible for federal-aid, be ready to obligate within 120 days of passagepage of the economic stimulus bill and have met all federal approval requirements.  Members received a hand-out with the suggested priority of developing a project list—first those projects on the STIP, then projects not on the STIP with a history in the TIP process, then those projects without a history in the STIP process. Bernie SissonThe city of Albany reported that the Conference of Mayors has already contacted the cities and asked for a list within 90 days.  Dede RudolphThe city also commented that they have projects within the city on State roads which are not on the STIP but are ready to be let, and that these would be good candidates for the federal stimulus package.  CDTC asked members to submit their project lists to CDTC; if received in time, these lists will be coordinated with NYSDOT.






Todd Fabozzi reported that CDRPC staff is documenting the case studies that were submitted for the Sustainable Development Guides report.




Kristina Younger reported that public hearings are being held in each county regarding the proposed fare increases.  It is proposed to increase the base fare from $1.00 to $1.50 with corresponding increases in all other fare products.  This would also include increases for parking fees at the Rensselaer Rail Station and an across the board 50% increase in Northway Express fares.  Service reductions will start in January 2009 and will continue through the year.  A market study was recently conducted that showed that residents are as receptive to bus options as rail options, and that there is an untapped market for carpools and vanpools.




Bob Hansen reported that a public meeting is scheduled for the evening of December 3rd on the closing of the Route 9P bridge over Saratoga Lake.  Approximately $5 million will be saved if the bridge is closed while construction takes place.  Ten to twelve area businesses would be greatly affected by this option.





Phil Serafino reported that the Thruway’s modernization study has been released and is available off the Authority’s website. The findings of that study will be presented to CDTC’s Policy Board at the December 4th meeting.



There being no other business, the meeting was adjourned at 12:05 p.m. 


Respectfully submitted,







John P. Poorman