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A new look for Watkins Glen ADVERTISEMENT

A new look for Watkins Glen

WATKINS GLEN--After the improvements to the state park are finished, residents can get ready for another construction project in the village.
The next improvement project is scheduled to begin in spring, 2018 and involves pavement and sidewalk work, along with improving traffic signal boxes, improving pedestrian walkways and adding aesthetic enhancements to village streets. As a part of the project, the county has also secured funding to improve the northern gateway area into the village.
Michael Griffin, New York State Department of Transportation assistant regional design engineer said, "The total cost of the project is $5 million. This includes a $400,000 grant the county received for improving the northern gateway to the village. The scope of the project work and the cost makes this village construction probably the most significant since the 80s."
Two public meetings were held last week in the Watkins Glen village offices to present the plans of the project. Griffin said overall people seeing the plans were very pleased and impressed with the details. He said there were some comments about the sharp turn by Salt Point Road and they will take a look at this.
Highlights of the construction work includes removing and replacing the pavement surface on North Franklin Street and Fourth Street and additional targeted roads. For overall perspective on the project, roads impacted stretch from Fairgrounds Lane in the south to Gabriel's Junction State Route 14A to the north.
Sidewalks in the construction area will also be replaced. Brick pavers will be used next to the street to enhance the area and street side planters, water fountains and dog walk bag dispensers will be included in the downtown area plan. Traffic signal boxes will also be wrapped with area maps and indicators for visitors to find certain locations. Future walk-of-fame drivers will be located with brick pavers around the individual stone designation.
Further, the historic road course in Watkins Glen will receive new signage to enhance the descriptions and detail for a visitor traveling the road course.
Griffin said the construction has been planned to minimize the impact with the community. Griffin said, "Even though there will be significant traffic impacts during the construction project, their department is adding these directions for the work:
• No work in the summer tourist season
• Avoid work during the weekend
• No nighttime construction
• Temporary sidewalks and access paths will be created to ease construction work changes."
The state has this project scheduled for bids to be received in December, 2017 and construction is anticipated to begin in spring 2018 and continue through the fall. Minor clean-up work will then be completed for the project in spring, 2019.
Residents can still comment on the project details by writing to Matthew Aldrich, Regional Design Engineer, New York State Department of Transportation, 107 Broadway, Hornell, NY 14843.
Letters should be received by Aug. 1.

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