Whether the city of Albany's downtown can ever truly connect to its Hudson River waterfront remains an open question. 

The city is cut off from the water by Interstate 787, a beltway that is lightly used compared to its size, as well as train tracks and a port that has expanded in recent years and become an economic driver in its own right. 

But New York state Assemblywoman Pat Fahy, a Democrat from Albany, believes the complex process for overhauling the highway and the city's downtown is possible. 

"We have to walk before we can run," Fahy said in an interview with Capital Tonight on Wednesday. 

Plans are inching forward, or at least discussions of aspirational goals for what the waterfront could look like in Albany. The discussions are taking place as the federal government is directing billions of additional dollars to states to aid with infrastructure across the country. 

Albany's downtown won't be changing over night, and the practical limitations of any major overhaul are apparent given the port. But Albany is not like other cities across the country and in New York are trying to find new ways of de-emphasizing highways built a half century ago and promoting more park-like options to replace them.