Written by Rich Forestano Friday, 14 February 2014 00:00
Operation Main Street has struggled to get off the ground since the plan was fast-tracked by New Hyde Park Village Officials last year. Work has been halted until March 15 due to weather. Village contractor J. Anthony Enterprises expects to finish the project by May 9.
New Hyde Park officials estimated that 35 percent of the project was completed before the stoppage. The village awarded J. Anthony the contract last June, which was the low bid of $1.46 million.
“The work, for all intents and purposes, has been suspended based on the weather,” Mayor Robert Lofaro said.
Benches will be installed on sidewalks, which would be paved with the same rustic red brickwork already in place in some parts of the road near the intersection of Jericho Turnpike. and Lakeville Road. New Hyde Park’s 2009 plan was originally between Ingraham
Lane and Hillside Boulevard. The idea was to set up modern traffic calming features that create a more pedestrian friendly and safer environment, while providing a downtown appeal for the shopping district.
The project, shepherded by trustee Donald Barbieri, has seen its share of ups and downs since late 2013. New Hyde Park faced a hurdle last summer when the New York State Department of Transportation informed the village that old environmental reports needed to be updated before beginning the bid process that led to the J. Anthony hiring.
“Nobody can work in this crazy weather,” Barbieri said. “It’s been an awfully tough month. We tried to close up all the work that had been started. It’s a little frustrating.”
The state required the village board to change project plans three times and amend a resolution it had previously passed regarding federal reimbursement. The DOT did not return calls for comment.
“Mother Nature is Mother Nature,” Barbieri stated in terms of the weather. “What can you do? You had [workers] doing Jericho Turnpike, the DOT doing traffic lights and different subcontractors coming in.”
The village’s project also conflicted with the now finished $21.1 million Jericho Turnpike. repaving project. Barbieri said it was tough to coordinate J. Anthony with DOT contractor Tully Construction and the DOT itself.
“It became difficult to get various parties aligned,” said Barbieri. “Things didn’t proceed quite as quickly as we hoped.”
The project also hit previous snags in March 2012 because of a pending agreement with Verizon and KeySpan to move utility lines.
Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy originally secured a federal grant (about $1.6 million) for the village through a federal transportation appropriation and community block grant funds for the project. McCarthy wrote to the chair of the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure in 2009 pushing for the project.