Section of Washington Ave Ext to close Nov 5-6

washington ave nano bridge pillar

For a bridge?

Update: Albany police say Washington Ave Ext will closed from 10 pm Friday (November 4) to 6 am Monday (November 7).

Washington Ave Extension will be closed from Fuller Road to the Crossgates Mall entrance November 5-6 (a Saturday and Sunday), according to an electronic sign posted along the road (map). The mall entrance off Washington Ave Ext will remain open those days.

We have heard, unofficially, that the road will be closed for the construction of the bridge connecting the new Albany NanoTech building with the existing building to the south of the road. There's already what looks like a support standing in the road's median, and there are pre-assembled structures for what looks like a bridge sitting behind Albany NanoTech. (We have a call in to confirm this. If we hear back, we'll update.)

It looks like the new NanoTech building is coming along quickly. Its structure now stands tall against Washington, and forms a sort of short corridor with the other College of Nanoscale Science and Engineering building. Washington Ave will eventually be moved north of the new building as part of the Washington/Fuller re-alignment, opening more space for Albany NanoTech.

The new building will house facilities that are part of the $4.4 billion chip-manufacturing research project the state recently announced. It will also reportedly provide space for a solar energy research consortium.

Earlier on AOA: What's up at Washington and Fuller?


The speed with which this project is completed is directly proportional to the degree of awe that they, the Nanotech "engineers" (yes, word play), would like the public to maintain and, if possible, magnify.

So long as "awe" remains high (e.g. "look how quickly they built that!" or "they sure do know what they are doing judging by how fast that was completed!" or "look how efficient the 'private' sector is!"), the rate of intelligent questions asked will remain low. If critical questions or points are asked/raised, the sheer weight of public awe for the Nanotech "entity" will bulldoze over them. This is, at least, what the Nanotech engineers (no, not the ones who do actual engineering) hope for, anyway.

This lends itself to the "prestige" of the project, the part where the trick is played behind the audience's back, where public money will be legally laundered into private hands. If you have any doubt about this, keep in mind that the Capital Region's main competitors are places like MIT and Stanford, and, I would guess, a place or two in Western Europe. So who do you put money on? MIT? Stanford? Place in Western Europe? or Albany, NY? The engineers of the Nanotech complex as well as Global Foundries in Malta (another future ghost town once the tax-exempt status expires) know this; they are here because this is what you do in the new political economy of New York (and, I would guess, America): you get the best tax deal, make sufficient capital off of that alone (even if business is still unprofitable, the tax loopholes and tax exemptions make the overall enterprise profitable), then, when the exemptions and perks are about to sunset, you either a) try to extort more from the communities in question, or b) get out of Dodge. For Nanotech et al., it is a case of "Heads I win, Tails you lose."

Arent they relocating that section of the Washington Ave extension in the near future?

This bridge would seem to indicate that the whole roundabout and relocation of the intersection is not going to happen any time soon. It certainly seems like a cheaper solution.

@BBnet3000- It's just a pedestrian bridge between the two buildings, probably will have parking lots under it until they expand the campus further.

must concur with Cicinnatus.

I was chatting with an imaginee--oops, I mean engineer who is working a contract job related to all of this and I posited how great it would be to have all the high tech jobs that came with the nano explosion. He said (without skipping a beat at my naivete) "oh no, those jobs in Malta (the "clean room" ones) a monkey could do." I joked "oh, so then in a few years they'll just move them overseas?". His matter of fact (again, no beats skipped) "yes absolutely. That's the plan."

The bridge will eventually be over a parking lot for the nanocollege. the buildings will be separated by some distance. The bridges are being built in a parking lot behind the college so they can just be hoisted in place and screwed down.

So they are going to close one of the busiest roads in the Capital District for 2 days to install a pedestrian bridge which will be of minimal use until the new buildings are completed. This could not wait until the road was rerouted. Brilliant! I used to think engineers were smarter than average.

This could not wait until the road was rerouted.

The new Washington extension does not exist.
They didn't even start working on the new road!
I am sure we will see people walking on the bridge over the current Washington avenue traffic.

@Donald - the new buildings will be done way, way, waaaaay sooner than the rerouting. Good ol' I87 Exit 3 has been in the planning stages for what, close to 20 years? Like Lu said, I'm sure that the pedestrian bridge will get plenty of use in the meantime.

Thanks Rebecca. I'm glad that I am not the only one who sees the entire project for what it really is...

are you absolutely sure the clsing is going to occur on Nov 5 and 6th; info from DOT says Nov 4-5-6th; ie., closing early Fri night; re-opening Mon morning;

@Lana: Thanks for the bump. The APD released more specific info today and the post has been updated.

@ Cincinnatus - you're forgetting the 4 BILLION dollar plus agreement from private companies investing in CNSE and the research foundation.

Criticism is so easy.

I'd rather see some tax payers go into incentives to revive upstate NY with a high tech, high paying career market than being collected by politicians or spend on ridiculous programs that are useless.

Criticism is easy. Lame and poorly written defenses are easier.

The last part of your comment is somewhat unintelligible, so I will deal with the first quite simply: the $4 billion dollar "investment" which you refer to (which is not at all straightforward in terms of just how much risk private entities have on the line here), is going to be, if this whole nanotech fad turns out to produce something at UAlbany, a drop in the bucket compared to how much will be created for these companies.

I am skeptical that this will "trickle down" to the rest of community in any direct way. Having a faster, prettier, picture when I play my Wii or use my IPhone does not count. I'm talking about cold, hard capital that will benefit the region in terms of jobs and spin-offs that produce jobs. I'm talking about tax revenues rather than tax subsidies. Aside from some lucrative construction contracts that will, in time, expire, I suspect that the jobs will be transplants, i.e. nonstarters.

See this for the swindle that it is.

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