Bypass shakes neighbors

Construction on the Round Lake Bypass is causing problems for residents, who say the blasting associated with the project is shaking homes and causing problems with well water.

More than 20 concerned residents came together Tuesday, Jan. 22, to discuss the blasts, which are expected to continue for six more weeks as the construction moves down Route 9.

Helene Brecker, who lives near the construction, said, It's a disaster.

She said tremors from the blasting cause her home to shake violently, once causing her clock to fall off the wall.

She also said that sediment shaken loose because of the blasts has clouded her well water, which had to be cleaned Friday, Jan. 11, and again Monday, Jan. 14.

The residents met with officials Tuesday from the state Department of Transportation at Northway Travel Trailer and expressed their concerns to the officials, who said they plan to keep a record of the complaints and evaluate the project accordingly.

The residents asked what the department plans to do to help fix their wells or deal with other property damage incurred from the blasts.

"I want to have a meeting where they tell us they're going to help," said Jon Meager, who lives near the bypass construction.

"Were not just dismissing anybody's concerns here," said John Nolan, the lead engineer on the bypass project. He said residents are welcome to talk with him about their concerns. However, he said, protocol was followed in the construction process. The department of transportation sent out preblast surveys to residents within 300 feet of the project site.

"We had no reason to believe there would be any problems," Nolan said.

Meager countered, "We didn't ask for this, we didn't want this. It was forced down our throats."

Public information officer for the New York State Department of Transportation Peter Van Keuren defended the project, saying, "The village has long wanted a way to get traffic out of their historic village."

He also said a study of the area indicated that there would be a rise in traffic in that area in coming years, prompting a need for the bypass.

According to an October press release from the DOT, 5,000 vehicles travel the Curry Road/George Street corridor every day. The corridor runs between Interstate 87 and State Route 9.

The DOT awarded a $22.4 million contract to construct the bypass located in the Village of Round Lake and Town of Malta.""

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