CLAYTON — Officials have provided travel and cost updates for the state’s reconstruction of the village’s historic district, which will allow overhead cables to be replaced with underground ones.
New one-way traffic patterns will begin Tuesday for portions of Riverside Drive, James and Webb streets, which workers will rebuild over the next two years, and last throughout the duration of the $9.3 million project. Motorists will not be able to access Riverside Drive from Webb Street, turn left onto Riverside Drive from Merrick Street, or turn left onto James Street from Riverside Drive, according to a traffic map from the state Department of Transportation. They can only drive north on James Street toward Riverside Drive starting at the intersection with Mary Street.
The department will deploy variable message boards and detour signs to help direct travelers.
Michael R. Flick, a DOT regional spokesman, wrote in an email that instituting traffic controls will help keep workers safe during construction, including tree removal, preparing for upcoming drilling and blasting and performing “minor buried utility work that doesn’t require blasting” next week. The contractor, Luck Bros. Inc., Plattsburgh, has been conducting pre-blast building surveys and staking out the project area.
“Now that the project is getting underway, if people have questions about the project, they should ask our project staff as they will be visible on the project on a daily basis,” Mr. Flick wrote.
Workers will rebuild much of Riverside Drive, a section of James Street between Riverside Drive and Mary Street, and the section of Webb Street between Riverside Drive and Hugunin Street. The department predicts that construction will last through two winters, pending weather conditions, and throughout the summer of 2020 until concluding in spring 2021.
The village will foot the bill for workers to install conduits and vaults beneath the streets so National Grid, Verizon, Spectrum and Westelcom could install underground cables and remove the ones overhead. Payments will also cover ornamental lighting, a new water main on James Street and sewer laterals on portions of James Street and Riverside Drive.
Updated cost projections predict that the village will pay less than it previously expected. The village committed to paying almost $7 million for its portion of the project last summer, but new cost estimates published on its website indicated that it may pay $6.39 million. Improvements associated with the new underground wires will cost $5 million. Installing the new sewer laterals will cost $713,422.66, and the cost for the new water main, which was incorporated into financing for an earlier $7.4 million water infrastructure overhaul, will cost $673,790.77.
“I’m fine because it’s in line with what we had when we passed the ($5 million) bond resolution,” in 2017, said Mayor Norma J. Zimmer, referring to the specific costs for the new underground wires.
Village officials plan to cover the costs in part with various grants and loans, including $1.5 million in grants and a $2.5 million U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development loan for the underground wire enhancements. Mrs. Zimmer said the board still hopes to secure additional grants to help finance the project.
“Now that the process has started and these grants are getting in, we can now go back out and get some more money,” Mrs. Zimmer said.
Once workers complete the road reconstruction, the DOT will transfer ownership of the three streets, which make up Route 970L, to the village.