The stream that had been buried underground from Plattekill Avenue, next to the western tip of the Village of New Paltz Peace Park, is now seeing the light of day. For the past two weeks, contractors from Roehrs Construction, along with employees of the Village Department of Public Works (DPW), have been at work daylighting the once-buried stream.
Months ago, after consulting with the DPW and village engineers, mayor Jason West proposed that the village unearth the stream rather than go out to bid for approximately $120,000 to replace the broken pipe and culvert that carried the stream underground. The Village Board voted in favor of the project, once the mayor was able to enlist financial assistance from SUNY New Paltz and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
While the bid was accepted at $95,000 because it came in far below what the village anticipated, West — who is just returning from a monthlong medical paid leave of absence — said that “We were able to add elements to the bid.” These include more landscaping and improvements to the 93-foot-wide crosswalk that crosses Plattekill Avenue and Hasbrouck Avenue from the Peace Park to the college at a tricky intersection.
According to West, “They discovered a bridge — not a large one, but about two feet high — that was once used for pedestrians to cross the stream.”
The excavation of the streambed has been completed, and will take the stream from the top of Peace Park through the park, where it will go back under the ingress/egress at the Village Hall parking lot out to Hasbrouck Avenue, then come back out to daylight on the north side of Hasbrouck, where it will meander to the vacant land behind Village Hall known as “the Pit.”
According to West, the project has both “great aesthetic value, as we now have a stream running through our park,” as well as environmental value, since measures have been put into the design to help with stormwater runoff. “Not to mention that this is permanent and less costly than the traditional practice of spending money to lay pipes and culverts and pave over streams. That will only last 20 years or so before you have to dig it back up and repair or replace something.”
West also said that, because the bid came in much lower than anticipated, they were able to add both aesthetic and safety measures, including large chunks of Shawangunk conglomerate along the stream at the north side of Hasbrouck Avenue in lieu of guardrails, plus various Shawangunk rocks and plantings along the stream.
The project is slated to be finished by the end of October, but much of its progress is also dependent on weather.