New Hyde Park officials discuss road reconstruction at board meeting

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A look east down Jericho Turnpike from Cherry Lane. (Photo courtesy Google Maps)

Trustee Donald Barbieri said he had “some aggravation” on his way to the New Hyde Park Board of Trustees meeting last Tuesday.

New Hyde Park had submitted plans to the state’s Department of Transportation for reconstruction of two blocks of Jericho Turnpike’s sidewalk from Cherry Lane to Hillside Boulevard, continuing a previous project near the Floral Park village line.

The state kicked the plans, for what was supposed to be a small project, back to the village, saying that the new sidewalk would not comply with the American Disabilities Act, Barbieri said. He said he learned of the action on the way to the meeting.

“We have been informed that they have to be a particular grading, which is going to be extremely difficult for us to make out without spending a lot of silly money,” said Barbieri, who uses a motorized wheelchair. “Obviously I’m someone who pays attention to these kinds of issues.”

Barbieri said he has never had any difficulty with the sidewalk’s grade.

“I’m sure there’s some rhyme to reason, but in this case we’re going to speak to them,” Barbieri said. “Meeting all their requirements could more than double the cost of a quarter  million dollar project.”

Tom Gannon, the village’s superintendent of public works, said he knew the state would probably have objections to the submitted plan, “but not this many.”

“There are so many ADA requirements that get triggered, and sometimes you can meet them and sometimes you can’t,” Gannon said. “They want us to meet everything in order to replace the concrete. That could mean replacing cellar stairs, replacing curbage, replacing handicap ramps that aren’t even the scope of the project.”

Gannon said he is going to meet with a state ADA specialist so the project can start. He said that he hopes the project starts by the spring.

“All we wanted to do was just replace the sidewalks. It’s all we wanted to do, which is not a big project,” Gannon said. “But it has already turned into a much bigger project.”

Barbieri also told the village board that he got confirmation from the state that it approved two new crossing signals at Covert Avenue.

“That’s something I’ve been working on,” Barbieri said. “That’s always a spooky area.”

Gannon and the board also discussed a $450,000 road project underway that includes full road replacement on South 9th Street between Sixth Avenue and Stewart Avenue, full road replacement on Fifth Avenue between Covert and Premier, and a full mill and overlay on South 6th Street between First and Second Avenues.

“They’re going to mill the road that’s there and overlay asphalt and do some concrete work. It’s a complete rebuild but we’re using the original base,” Gannon said. “With the others, we take everything off, oil inject the base then get some new topcoat on that. It’s a more expensive process.”

Gannon said that the village has “very poor road base.”

“Roads that haven’t been done the right way from 80 years ago, or whenever it may be, we have to redo the base and everything completely,” Gannon said. “It runs us about a million bucks a mile.”

Not every driveway apron will be replaced, only those that need to be replaced because of grade issues caused by the reconstruction. The village will also replace nearby sidewalks as needed during the project.

Construction should not take more than three weeks, Gannon said. The only residents that will be affected are those who will be getting new aprons for their driveways. The village will give residents parking provisions on the street overnight if they cannot get back in their driveway.

“It’s actually a good time of the year to be doing this because the oil and the roadwork will set well because the temperatures are starting to drop,” Gannon said. “You don’t want it too hot, you don’t want it too cold, you don’t want it too moist.”

The board also announced that it is looking at bids to redo the village website.

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