2012-08-16 / Front Page

Some Legislators Upset Over Sidewalk Work

Others say some delay inevitable
Eric Gross

The summer of 2012 will be remembered as one of great inconvenience for motorists in the hamlet of Carmel due to sidewalk construction along Route 6.

Anger, frustration, annoyance and disbelief were expressed by local residents, merchants and officials alike, as flag people raised the ire of the motoring public by directing traffic in such a way that resulted in gridlock throughout the county seat.

In early July traffic was backed up so badly that Route 52 from Library Corners to the ShopRite Plaza became a virtual parking lot while cars and trucks were backed up on Route 6 half way to Route 312.

The fall out from the disastrous project was felt at Tuesday's meeting of the Putnam Legislature's Physical Services Committee when committee chair Dini LoBue criticized the administration for failing to answer a letter sent to the executive's office inquiring about the construction on July 25.

She also told her colleagues and some two dozen others in attendance that she received many complaints from area business people who were "pulling their hair out. This is the business district. The summer traffic was bedlam along that road."

Executive Mary Ellen Odell said the project was completed "on time and within budget. We are sorry for any inconvenience but whenever a major project of this magnitude takes place there is always disruption."

Legislator Richard Othmer and Legislator Carl Albano who both serve on the committee agreed that traffic was extremely heavy but said Othmer: "A great job was done despite the summer's heat, humidity and inconvenience."

Albano added: "Good job! It was a bad situation in a heavily congested area."

Highways and Facilities Commissioner Fred Pena said when work of this magnitude is scheduled again, he would ask contractors to submit bids to complete the work at night: "If the cost is not too prohibitive we may go that route in the future."


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