Rotterdam okays Altamont Avenue repairs

Badly needed repairs to a 40 year-old water main on Altamont Avenue will move forward expediently, according to town officials.

At its meeting on Wednesday, July 9, the Rotterdam Town Board voted to authorize Supervisor Steven Tommasone to approve an emergency contract with McDonald Engineering of Schenectady to prepare plans for the replacement of the water main, which burst earlier this month, sending geysers of water up through the road and closing traffic at one of the town's busiest intersections for more than 10 hours.

Road crews made temporary repairs to the site but, according to Highway Superintendent Jim Longo, a stretch pipe under the state-owned road from Stuart Street to Tower Road will need major repairs.

Tommasone estimates that roadwork will cost the town hundreds of thousands of dollars.He said the work would be funded through Water District 5, the largest district in the town with nearly 11,000 units. Tommasone said the District has funds in its reserves that should pay for the entirety of the project.

"Reserve funds are for occurrences just like this," said Tommasone. "They're funds you can rely on without just going to the taxpayer."

Tommasone said he's hopeful that work will be completed by summer's end. The replacement of the12-inch water main will likely cause detours near the intersection of Altamont Avenue and Curry Road when work begins.

The town will need state approval from the Department of Transportation before road construction can occur.

DOT Spokesman Peter Van Keuren said the state generally acts quickly when a municipality needs to make emergency repairs.

"We'll look at the roads and pretty much give the go ahead," said Van Keuren.

According to Van Keuren, the state has no major plans to reconstruct the road, which he said remains stable despite the town's problem with its aged water main.

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