When the new school year begins this fall, students at the Saugerties high and middle schools will no longer have to walk in the roadway on their way to the two-school campus.
For several years, students and their parents have been asking the village government for a sidewalk along Washington Avenue in the area of Cantine Field. Now they will get a walking path instead.
The sidewalks begin just past the Lions Club playground adjacent to Cantine. There are no sidewalks in front of three homes between where the sidewalks end and the playground.
Trustees and the mayor have promised that the sidewalk work eventually would get done. They just never said when.
Now the job will get done, according to mayor William Murphy. However, it won’t exactly be a sidewalk in front of the three homes. It will be a white-lined walking path along Washington Avenue.
The problem had been the cost of purchasing the easement rights to a piece of the front lawns of the three homes. There was also the matter of the homeowners then having to maintain the new sidewalks, shoveling snow off them in the winter.
“So what we’re going to do,” Murphy explained, “is use the asphalt patch that Mullen and Sons left along the roadway after installing the new natural-gas lines along the road as part of the Central Hudson project.” The village has asked Mullen to extend the wide patch of asphalt to the front of the three homes’ lawns. The village DPW will lay down a white stripe along the patch, and put markings along it, enabling motorists to recognize it as a pedestrian walkway.
Murphy expects the project to be completed at no cost to taxpayers by the start of the school year in September.