The town has announced that Elsmere Avenue will be closed for at least three days between Maple Avenue and Kenwood Avenue starting on Tuesday, July 8.
Supervisor Jack Cunningham made the announcement during the town's Wednesday, June 25, town board meeting.
Commissioner of Public Works Josh Cansler told town board members that they discovered a sewer main running underneath Elsmere Avenue was broken in at least two places and would have to be dug up, resulting in the closure of both lanes of traffic until the sewer line is fixed.
The two breaks in the pipe are about 30 or 40 yards apart, according to Cansler, and will have to be replaced. Traffic will be diverted in opposite directions in order to detour both lanes of traffic on the heavily commuted road, which will most likely lead to delays during peak driving hours.
"Obviously Elsmere's a main thoroughfare here in Bethlehem and Delmar, so that's going to affect a lot of people," Cansler said. "We've been working with DOT and the police department to come up with the best route to detour traffic for a couple of days."
Cansler said the current plan of action was to divert southbound traffic down Elsmere Avenue to Herber Avenue and then left on Glendale Avenue before turning onto Kenwood Avenue and back onto Elsmere Avenue.
Northbound vehicles will be directed to take a right from Elsmere Avenue onto Kenwood Avenue and then left onto Ridge Road and left again onto West Popular Drive before merging back onto Elsmere Avenue.
Cansler told the board that the work will begin at 6 a.m. on July 8 and that only one home will have its access blocked by the construction. He added that they held off on the project until after school was out.
"We're going to try to fix one break one day [July 8], hopefully backfill it in and be able to reopen the road that night. There's no guarantee of that, but that is our plan," Cansler said. "Then open it up the next day, fix the second break and backfill it again on the night of [Wednesday] July 9."