BETHLEHEM — At the April 12 meeting of the Bethlehem Town Board, members unanimously approved the final details for a long-planned project to improve a section of Delaware Avenue in Delmar, from Adams Street to Elsmere Avenue, scheduled to begin this May.
In addition to authorizing use of reserve funds to replace a water main, awarding the $3.1 million construction contract to Rifenberg Construction, and approving agreements with a consulting firm and the state Department of Transportation (NYSDOT), board members discussed how the ‘Delaware Avenue Hamlet Streetscape Enhancement’ construction project — expected to last through 2017 — will impact residents, businesses and traffic in that part of Delmar.
Enhancements planned for the corridor include: new sidewalks, crosswalks, curbing, on-street parking, new road pavement, street trees and decorative lighting fixtures. Under Delaware, a water line will be replaced and new storm drains will also be added during the course of construction. The project scope and design are the result of nearly a decade of community discussion and committee planning. $1.2 million will be funded through a NYSDOT grant and the town will cover the remaining $1.9 million.
Department of Economic Development and Planning Director Rob Leslie told board members that the town would be notifying more than 900 residents and business owners in and around that corridor who will be most affected when construction begins in early June.
A letter, signed by Town Supervisor John Clarkson, was posted to the town’s website almost immediately, explaining that the project will begin in early May and the first month will involve preliminary survey and stake-out work that will cause minimal disturbance. In June, it said, traffic flow will have to be disrupted and construction will begin in earnest.
From June until the end of the year, weekday traffic may be limited to one lane and one direction between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Two detour routes (below) have been identified — eastbound and westbound — and uses will alternate as needed by the contractor. There is an alternative detour map for commercial truck traffic (also below). There may be times when no detour routes are required. Weekly meetings between the contractor and the town will determine the route in effect for the upcoming week and an update will be sent out on the town’s Notify Me® listserv.
“As with all major construction projects,” said Clarkson’s letter, “traffic and travel will be impacted so I ask for everyone’s patience during the construction phase.” Businesses and residences will remain accessible by one-way traffic during construction hours and two-way traffic will will be restored daily no later than 5 p.m. Pursuant to state law, pedestrian access to Delaware businesses will also be maintained.
Anyone wishing to remain informed as to the details or status of the project can sign up for email and/or text notifications through the “Notify Me” portal on the lower left-hand side of the town website home page, visit the project website (www.townofbethlehem.org/803/Planning-and-Design), follow the town on Facebook or Twitter, or call the town’s call center at (518) 439-4955 ext.0.