Last week Landscape Architect Ted Kolankowski, of Barton & Loguidice, updated the Lloyd Town Board on Pedestrian Sidewalk Improvements Project that have been proposed for the hamlet area.
Federal and NY State funds through the Transportation Alternative Program [TAP] will pay $672,800 [80%] of the project and the Town of Lloyd will pay $168,200 [20%] for a total of $841,000. Kolankowski broke this out further: $642,000 for construction, $64,000 for construction administration and inspection, $7,000 for Right of Way incidentals and acquisition (if needed) and $128,000 for preliminary and detailed design. He said there will be another round of TAP funding that will be announced in November that could pay for additional improvements that are not covered in this first round.
There is one section of the entire project that will be privately funded. Keith Libolt, who owns and built the Highbridge apartment project, promised the Lloyd Planning Board in January 2019 that he would construct a sidewalk from the Rail Trial down to Commercial Avenue, allowing access to the hamlet. Building Department Director Dave Barton said Libolt committed $5,000 for this section, but the amount falls far short of what is needed. Kolankowski pointed out that a 1 foot in length by 5 foot wide sidewalk section costs approximately $100. The distance from the rail trail to Commercial Avenue, the area in question, is 260 feet and will actually cost $26,000 and could run higher if a 6 inch curb is added.
Next month Barton & Loguidice will be seeking approval from the town and the DOT that will allow them to do the actual design drawings. He said in March the plans are expected to be completed so the project can go out for bid in April. In May, Kolankowski is hoping to have an approved and signed contract with a contractor so that construction can begin in June. He is shooting for the entire project to be completed in November 2021.
The team consists, not only of Barton & Loguidice, but also W Design, headed up by creative Director Dorene Warner, and Patti Brooks, of Brooks & Brooks Surveyors.
Kolankowski’s power point presentation noted that the main objectives of the sidewalk project are to, “improve safety and accessibility for pedestrians and motorists; contribute to the economic revitalization of the Highland Hamlet; improve connecting pathways between the Hamlet and the Walkway Bridge/ Empire State Trail/Hudson Valley Rail Trail; upgrade crosswalks using ADA guidelines and improve way-finding signage to enhance links between the Highland Hamlet and the Hudson Valley Rail Trail.
Kolankowski said his company has been developing their digital mapping of the site and seeing if there are any wetlands or endangered species within the project area. Safety, accessible grading and aesthetics are also being taken into consideration.
Kolankowski said most DOT projects have two options, “a do nothing alternative or a do something alternative.” He said doing nothing, “is not consistent with the vision of the town and is not really a feasible alternative.” He listed many of the social, economic and environmental benefits that this sidewalk project will provide to the town, such as improving the quality of life, providing a regional benefit for all social groups, contributing to neighborhood and community cohesion, linking school districts, recreation areas and places of worship while protecting the town’s general ecology and wildlife resources.
Kolankowski said installing sidewalks on the north side of Eltings Place will provide Middle school students with a safe path to the library, while new, properly located crosswalks, signage and detectable warnings for the visually impaired will benefit the entire hamlet. He noted that upgrading the center of the hamlet at Vineyard Avenue and Main Street, by removing a few tree stumps and planting honey locusts, would make this a more visually appealing and attractive place for visitors and residents. He suggested mountable curbing to lessen the impacts of snow plowing in winter and installing some civic artwork or the town’s logo in this intersection will enhance the entire area.
Kolankowski said they will first try some low-cost temporary ideas in certain areas, perhaps by using sidewalk chalk, to test how they would look and function before installing anything permanent.
Dorene Warner, of W design, suggested several choices of signs and color schemes that could be placed in strategic areas to highlight the rail trail, the business district, the entrances to town and the hamlet’s historic architecture. She also suggested that the Town Board consider additional lampposts with flags as part of the project.