“This has been a great project for involving several levels of government — the state DOT, Ulster County Planning and Rural Transportation, and the Town of Saugerties — along with the owners of the Winston Farm,” the supervisor said. “It will also make a great visual improvement along this ‘gateway’ entrance of the Route 32 corridor.”
The property is in front of Winston Farm and the project has been designed to accommodate events there in the future, Helsmoortel said. The entrance will front Augusta Savage Rd. and will include a new turning lane off Rt. 32 north that will alleviate a congestion problem that became evident with the Hudson Project concert last summer.
Helsmoortel said the project was in discussion for some time. The DOT perceived a need to provide a safe, attractive facility that meets its design and operational standards for a multi-modal ridesharing focal point for the traveling public. The project is also consistent with the Ulster County Transportation Council’s 2013 commuter parking facilities capacity analysis and needs assessment, he added. Helsmoortel, a member of the council, serves on the UCTC’s Technical Committee that reviewed these plans as they were under development for several months. Helsmoortel thanked county planner Dennis Doyle for “keeping Saugerties in mind” by ensuring that an accommodation was made for Winston Farm access that expanded the potential for this particular park-and-ride.
“This isn’t just for commuters,” Helsmoortel added. “We perceive potential benefits to the village of Saugerties as well. Weekend travelers to and from the mountain can use the park-and-ride for a safe place to car-pool into the historic business district for some shopping.”
An accelerated schedule for moving the project forward began last fall to ensure Federal Transportation Administration funding. The project was bid early in March, the supervisor said, and the DOT has been evaluating the bids and selecting a contractor. The work will be completed before the end of this construction season.