New bluestone sidewalks are finally being installed on Main Street in Saugerties in front of the Orpheum Theater and up to the intersection with Partition Street. The complete job will include just over 500 feet of bluestone paving on the south side of the street, with 230 feet east of Partition Street and 276 feet to the west.
New bluestone is being used in the section east of Partition Street, special projects coordinator Alex Wade reported to the village board. Though tinted concrete is being used on some 150 feet of this section, existing curbing will be retained on the rest of the project, Wade said. The later sections will retain bluestone that is still in good condition, while replacing badly worn or crumbling bluestone.
With construction, the modest but seemingly endless project is finally coming to a climax. A state grant is expected to cover 80 percent of the cost. But Wade wondered whether rhe village’s costs of meeting all the state requirements and the engineering required for the project had not exceeded the state grant. Given the cost of all the state requirements, the delays over the past several years as the state demanded changes, and the engineering costs, Wade said after the meeting, the village government might have been better off doing the job without the state funding.
“For this area I was able to obtain a waiver of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations, so only broken or missing stones will be replaced,” Wade told the village board on Monday. The Americans with Disabilities Act requires a sidewalk slope of no more than 1.5 inches, requiring sidewalks with a greater slope to be torn up and leveled. The waiver allows the village to leave existing sidewalks in place.
Barring delays, the job should be completed within about two and a half weeks, Wade said. “If we get more days like today, it could be even faster than that,” he said.
The job costs $312,669. John Mullen and Sons was the only bidder on the project, and his bid was $45,000 more than the village had allocated, according to the board presentation at the March 2019 meeting,
There had been some concern about the new curbing, but Wade said that “it blended right in with the old stuff, and it’s not going to fall apart.”
Another cost that had Wade fuming was a $2000 reporting system the DOT required.
Trustee Terry Parisian asked whether the reporting system could save money in the long run by its being used on other projects. No, replied Wade, the cost was for a single use. The billing procedure in the past had been complex and time-consuming, however, and “this system takes the place of that, so I don’t have to spend hours with five different pages of stuff to do the billing.”
The program could save time and be well worth it on a big job, Wade concluded. But “in our case it’s stupid.”
Region 8 of the state Department of Transportation had refused for a while to recognize John Mullen as a qualified contractor, despite the fact that he was recognized by other agencies and handles a good deal of work in the area. That dispute had been settled, Wade reported, but Mullen still had to get a new password to work with the agency.