As the construction of a roundabout on the Columbia County side of the Rip Van Winkle Bridge gets underway in earnest, the state Department of Transportation set an example of how a government agency can work with localities to make a complex process run smoothly for all concerned.
Two days ago in this column, we took the DOT to task for sending trucks on a 9-mile sojourn through Hudson to avoid the construction zone and back again over already congested city truck routes and, topping that off, failing to tell city officials about the detour plan.
Today, we are praising the DOT for working with Hudson Mayor Rick Rector, city Department of Public Works Superintendent Rob Perry and Assemblywoman Didi Barrett, D-106, to come up with a simple solution to this rather circuitous problem.
Instead of sending trucks through Hudson so they can get to the Rip Van Winkle Bridge, the loop at the intersection of Route 9G and Route 23 will be widened so trucks can make the turnaround more easily, bypass the existing heavily traveled truck routes and eliminate a convoluted 9-mile detour.
Although the roundabout project is less than two weeks old, the first sign of potential trouble was visible Thursday as slowed-down traffic in the single lane to the Route 9G-Route 23 intersection and fast-moving traffic on the Route 9G north ramp attempted to merge.
The DOT’s action Thursday will help reduce the chance of accidents and preserve safety for motorists entering the construction zone. It also sets a positive example for admitting a mistake was made and moving with all possible speed to make things right.