I-87 Exit 3 and Exit 4

This $48 million project improved interchange access and mobility between I-87, the Albany International Airport, and Wolf Road. The project involved adding the long-missing I-87 Exit 3 and reconstructing the Exit 4 interchange. The Exit 3 ramps include a “flyover” from I-87 northbound to Albany Shaker Road, a new southbound exit ramp to Albany Shaker Road, and a new entrance ramp to I-87 southbound from Albany Shaker Road. It also included an auxiliary lane on I-87 northbound between Exits 4 and 5, a noise reduction wall northbound between Exits 4 and 5, a new multi-use path, and widening and intersection improvements on Albany Shaker Road.

This highly visible project was under great scrutiny to appeal to many stakeholders. It took nearly two decades to select the preferred alternative. Part of the complexity was the need to avoid sensitive environmental features as well as the airport’s runway protection zone and approach surface, and flat grades and underground utilities complicating drainage design along Albany Shaker Road. Due to these extensive development and significant environmental constraints, over 50 concepts were evaluated before ultimately selecting the “flyover” alternative. This alternative was the least expensive, provided the greatest traffic benefit, and had the least impact to ecological resources and commercial enterprises. Sustainable features (e.g., multi-use path built using porous pavement, ramp pavement removal, and closed drainage removal) helped improve water quality, re-establish the ecosystem, and reduce the carbon footprint.

Direct interstate access to the airport has been a dream and a plan since this section of the Adirondack Northway opened to traffic in 1960. The project improves operating conditions at most nearby intersections, reduces travel time for major routes by 25%, and diverts traffic from intersections with high crash rates.

  • 2021 ACEC New York Engineering Excellence Awards – Platinum Award (Transportation)
Project Services:
  • Scoping
  • Preliminary and Final Design
  • Environmental
  • Landscape Architecture
    • Green Infrastructure Solutions
    • Landscape/Habitat Restoration