Slowly but surely, work continues in Rosendale on the stretch of James Street between Madeline Lane and Parkcrest Drive that has been closed off to traffic since early February of 2018. Residents of the immediate neighborhood — also including South Street, John Street, Madeline Lane, Parkcrest Drive, Park Heights and Lower James Street — were notified last week by Rosendale water and sewer superintendent Terry Johnson that their water service would be completely shut down between the hours of 10 p.m. on Monday, December 17 and 7 a.m. on Tuesday, December 18. The work is also expected to cause some turbidity in the area after the work is completed, though Johnson wrote that the temporarily discolored water will remain “safe to use.”
This inconvenience is actually good news to residents: It means that a decrepit 300-foot-long stretch of 75-year-old water main whose failure was responsible for the collapse of a 40-by-seven-foot segment of road surface last winter, necessitating the road closure, is finally being replaced. Also included in this week’s work is the installation of new valves accessing several branch lines serving the adjoining neighborhood, plus a stub for a new line to provide future service to the Rosendale Food Pantry.
February’s collapse exacerbated infrastructure problems that James Street had already been experiencing since floodwaters loosed by Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee back in 2011 badly eroded the embankment of the Rondout Creek adjacent to eastern portions of James Street. Rosendale thereby qualified for major storm mitigation funding from the New York Rising program. Reconstruction work has been in progress for most of 2018, with new culverts and sheet walls already installed, but is expected to “button up until spring,” according to town councilman Matt Igoe. In early 2019, after the thaw, road resurfacing should be completed and a new linear park with a pedestrian walkway above the creek built along the portion of James Street closest to Route 32.