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New York Route 9J is a New York State maintained highway that runs from the city of Rensselaer in the north to the village of Columbiaville in the south. The road runs for a total distance of approximately 22.35 miles. Route 9J can be considered a "daughter route" to US Highway 9.
The route begins just outside the Rensselaer city limits at a junction with US Routes 9 and 20 and South Street. Route 9J continues along South Street before becoming River Road at the North Greenbush town line.
Six miles of this stretch of the route in North Greenbush and East Greenbush was realigned during the 1970's, following a straighter path though the marshlands along the Hudson River. Much of the old alignment, with it's tight corners and proximity to cliff edges and gullies, can still be seen by following the power lines along the eastern edge of the road. While most of this route has been allowed to return to wilderness, some of i has been incorporated into driveways for houses along this stretch.
After crossing the Mordenerkill, 9J enters the village of Castleton-on-Hudson as Main Street. In the northern portion of the village, the previously mentioned realignment caused the demolition of all of the buildings on the western side of the road, overlooking the river. This now provides a fantastic view of the Hudson, as well as the Amtrak lines running along the riverbank. The one blinking traffic light in the village at the intersection with Scott Avenue is the beginning of New York Route 150, which connects the village with other parts of Schodack. The southern portion of the village still has many of it's remaining buildings, although many of these are in poor repair.
9J emerges from Castleton-on-Hudson as River Road once again, immediately crossing over the Muitzeskill. Here, the older alignment of the route remains, with all of it's twists and turns. A few miles south of Castleton are two large bridges which pass from the bluffs abofe on the east, across the Hudson River into Coeymans. The northerly of the two is the Castleton-on-Hudson Bridge, which carries the Berkshire Spur of the New York State Thruway on into Massachusetts. The southerly bridge is the Alfred H. Smith Memorial Bridge, which carries a CSX freight rail line in the same direction.
The road continues on through the village of Schodack Landing, New York before crossing the Columbia County line into the town of Stuyvesant. Stuyvesant looks very similar to Castleton-on-Hudson, only slightly smaller and with development on both sides of the route.
At this point, 9J swings away from the Hudson River by about a mile, and ends at the junction of Route 9 and Alvord Dock Road in Columbiaville.
Route 9J has little importance, other than to serve the small communities that are located along this part of the Hudson River. What use it could have as a bypass for Route 9 is mitigated by a small, winding alignment for the southern two-thirds of the route, and a constant shift in speed limit.