No residents or business-district property owners appeared for a village public hearing Monday night for a project that will replace broken sidewalks and curbing along sections of Main and Partition streets in Saugeties. Funding is coming from $279,000 balance left over from the village crosswalks project.
The funds are from a federal highway grant administered through the state Department of Transportation, explained Ken Baldwin, an engineer with Maser Consulting, which is overseeing the project for the village,.
Baldwin hopes work can begin in the late fall or more likely in March or April of 2018. It will be done at night so as to not interfere with businesses or traffic in the village’s main business district. “It’s just too congested to do the job during the day,” Baldwin said.
The hired contractor will be told to do the work from 5 or 6 p.m. until 10 or 11 p.m.
“We want people to get their sleep,” Baldwin said. The project should take two or three months to complete.
In addition to the replacement of broken bluestone sidewalk and curbing, a new base coarse of gravel will be put down to level the sidewalk underneath existing undamaged bluestone, which will be lifted up. The sidewalk will be compliant with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act and newly passed pedestrian safety laws.
The project calls for 181 linear feet of sidewalk and curbing to be inspected, and those pieces that are damaged to be replaced.
The work on the Partition Street sidewalk will extend from the Inquiring Minds side of the street down the hill to the entrance of the driveway leading to the village parking lot. The work on Main Street will extend from the pharmacy to the bike shop.
Baldwin hopes the entire scope of the project can be completed. Bluestone is expensive, running up to $100 a foot, though, and the funding may be insufficient for the whole project.
The deterioration of the curbing and some of the sidewalk slabs, noted Alex Wade, who handles special projects for the village, was because of the “crap sandstone” used in a state sidewalk project a number of years ago.
“We’re using real bluestone here, and it costs money, not like the $2.95 a square foot backyard stuff the state used,” Wade said.
Why was bluestone rather than cheaper poured concrete being used? Wade said real bluestone would last longer. Since the project area is in a state historic district, moreover, the state wants historically correct bluestone to be used.
“However, we have asked to use concrete to keep costs down and to be able to do more work,” Wade disclosed, “so we will have to wait for their response.”
He’s not optimistic about the likelihood of state acquiescence. “Don’t get your hopes up,” Wade added.