Commuting on North Albany Road may become easier after 2014, when the city of Albany plans to widen the section from Quarry Road south to the railroad tracks. The project, estimated to cost $2.98 million, calls for, among other things, sidewalks, a center turn lane, raising the bridge across Thornton Lake by two feet, building a separate pedestrian bridge on the east side of the bridge, and realigning West Thornton Lake Drive with the traffic signal at the intersection with the middle school driveway. Chris Cerklewski, with the Albany public works engineering staff, says he's still in the early stages of the design.
While the street work is going on, the city also plans to extend a water main, installed under the Willamette River in 2012, along North Albany Road to the reservoir on Gibson Hill. Cerklewski says coordinating the two projects will save money and disrupt traffic less. The water main work is estimated to cost $2 million.