Your Town Tuesday: Downtown Albany Is Bustling With Activity [VIDEO]
ALBANY – This week in our “Your Town Tuesday” series we’re in the town of Albany.
Just over 2,600 residents call Albany home. They’ve added 37 people to their population since 2010.
The town just completed a multi-million dollar street construction project in their downtown along Highway 238/Railroad Avenue. Most of the work was done last year, with some finishing work this spring.
Construction project manager Tim Brawthen says it was a challenging project because it’s the main corridor through Albany. The road gets over 7,000 vehicles traveling on it every day, so the traffic volume is large.
Acting Mayor John Greer says they did a lot of research before they started the project, to try to minimize the impact on the downtown businesses. He says, “Pierz had a similar construction of their mainstreet a few years before us. So we went up there and interviewed people. We talked to their city council and business people, and found out what worked and what didn’t work. One of the things we decided to do was make sure there was plenty of maps.”
Greer says the project was done in two stages, and the stores used their back alleys for customer access.
The more attractive downtown now has new ornamental lighting, new sidewalks, and a wider street. Also, 11 businesses took advantage of a matching grant where they could get up to $15,000 to make upgrades to their store fronts.
Greer says every single store front along Railroad Avenue is occupied. He says, “We have a new building next to city hall that is a dental office. They have some space for rent, but it’s only been open for a few months. Every other store front on Railroad Avenue downtown is occupied. We’re very proud of that.”
Greer credits their proximity to Interstate 94, their golf course near the downtown, and a state highway that runs through the downtown.
Also, Don’s I-94 is expanding with Subway and A & W Restaurant moving into a new building, across the street from their current location. Next to that is a new strip mall, with apartments on the second level.
Some big dates in Albany that are coming up:
Albany Heritage Day is on August 2nd
Albany Pioneer Days is September 12th-14th
Next week in our “Your Town Tuesday” series, we’re heading to the town of St. Stephen.