County seeking proposals for study of highway

JOHNSTOWN – The Fulton County Board of Supervisors recently authorized seeking engineering proposals for a study of a proposed connector highway from Fonda to Johnstown.

The board voted to request expressions of interest for engineering services related to the study. The federal government will pay $400,000 toward the study, with a $100,000 local match required.

The Fulton County board decided in June to pay the entire $100,000 because Montgomery County officials balked at paying $50,000 for the study, although it is a grant co-sponsor.

Local officials have discussed building the proposed 3.5-mile highway for trucks and other vehicles coming off the state Thruway in Fultonville. Drivers could use it to bypass the villages of Fultonville and Fonda on their way north to Route 30A near the Johnstown Industrial Park.

Expressions of interest from engineering firms seeking to do the study must be received by county Purchasing Agent Jon Stead by 2 p.m. Sept. 18 at the County Office Building.

Fulton County Highways and Facilities Superintendent Mark Yost said expressions-of-interest requests will sent to 15 engineering firms on the state Department of Transportation Region 2’s Local Design Services Agreement list.

The total cost of completing the highway is unknown at this point, but officials have said it will be many millions of dollars.

The county in 2012 accepted a Transportation, Community and System Preservation grant from the Federal Highway Administration for the Thruway connector study as a joint project with Montgomery County, as co-sponsor. In accordance with the grant, 80 percent of the project cost will be funded by the federal government and state DOT.

In accordance with locally administered federal procedures, Fulton County must hire an engineering firm to conduct the study.

The board last week also authorized a formal grant agreement with Montgomery County and DOT for the connector study. Fulton County’s 2013 Capital Plan contains funds for the project.

County Planning Director James Mraz said Monday the full Montgomery County Board of Supervisors will consider giving its authorization to sign the grant agreement Aug. 27.