Gap closed on Rail Trail repairs

New Scotland Town Board awards $4,500 to complete bridge work, open trail

— The improvements needed at the Route 155 bridge are more complex, such as installation of an 8-foot-tall pedestrian safety fence on each side of the bridge to meet Department of Transportation standards. An outside contract is needed to complete the estimated $13,000 worth of renovations.

In April, request for proposals was sent out for the work, but there were no responses, Lewendon said. He asked some potential bidders what happened and heard there wasn’t enough work for a fencing contractor to make a profit from the job.

By speaking with Jack’s Constructing in Selkirk, Lewendon found there to be significant costs in traffic control and insurance. Just setting up safety netting required at the job site would also be more expensive than the fencing itself.

After meeting with county officials about the predicament, Jack’s agreed to handle traffic control for no cost to the group. A “minor” design change was also made to the fencing. This resulted in a $17,000 estimate.

“That is their best price, but we were still short of money,” Lewendon said.

The Voorheesville Community and School Foundation contributed $10,000 and the Mohawk-Hudson Land Conservancy compiled its restricted funds and donations for $7,076.

The cost to complete the project includes an engineering fee of $1,000, the construction contractor bid at $17,000 and the materials for the Vly Creek bridge totaling $3,515. The $21,515 project was at a shortfall of $4,500.

“We are crying humble and we are coming to you … if you would consider donating $4,500 to partner with all the rest of the organizations,” Lewendon said.

“We are trying at this point to rev things up on the New Scotland section,” said Mark King, director of the Mohawk Hudson Land Conservancy, said. “We are hoping to have an event this fall and we are hoping the town might participate that event to draw attention to kind of keep the county motivated to keep working on this and motivate local folks to help us out getting this thing opened.”

King said years ago, he believed this portion of the trail would have already been opened.

“I started working on this project 20 years ago and I thought pretty sure by now we would have a trail,” King said, “but I guess I underestimated.”

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