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Greenport Village to authorize bond for road work; Main Street to be widened

It’s a tight squeeze for drivers on a portion of Main Street in Greenport Village, especially when there’s a car traveling in the opposite direction.

Village officials are looking to change that with a major road project they expect to authorize this week.

The village plans to bond $800,000 to widen and repave Main Street between Bay and Central avenues, as well as several other road and sidewalk projects, Mayor George Hubbard Jr. said during Thursday’s Village Board work session. He added that the project involves removing sidewalks and curbs on the east side of the street in order to widen the road by 22 inches.

“I think this will stop all the side-view mirrors from being hit,” the mayor said. “It will be the same size as the rest of Main Street after this.”

The road will comply with New York State code and federal Americans With Disabilities Act requirements, Mr. Hubbard said.

Other projects include: repairing aprons at the firehouse, repaving South Street between Fourth and Fifth avenues; adding curbed sidewalks on Wiggins Street; and repaving Broad Street.

“Broad Street is in really bad shape,” Mr. Hubbard said. “And it’s the widest road, so it’s costing more. It’s like doing two roads.”

As for the timing of the project, village officials said after the Village Board votes to authorize the bond Thursday, a 20 day period of estoppel and permissive referendum begins.

“We want to start this work by the end of June,” the mayor said.

Contacted Sunday, Village Administrator Paul Pallas said concrete work would begin first, followed by the paving.

Mr. Hubbard, who said construction activities would not be conducted on Fourth of July weekend, outlined the concrete and paving work at Thursday’s work session. He said concrete work would take about six weeks. That includes:

• The aprons (or ramps) on the two firehouses, Front Street and Flint Street

• Also they will install new curbs and sidewalks on South Street, between Fourth and Fifth streets

• On Sixth Street, they will put curbs in from the railroad tracks north to Wiggins Street, and new sidewalks on Sixth Street, going around the bend onto Wiggins Street for about two houses

The following areas would then be paved:

• All of Broad Street

• South Street between Fourth and Fifth streets

• The unpaved parts of Third Street

• Main Street from Claudio’s to Townsend Manor Inn, plus the widening of one section.

Asked about the timing, Mr. Pallas said: “The contractors would still be developing a schedule, but I don’t think it would wait until fall.  I’m hopeful it will be done by the fall. But clearly, there’s a lot to do. The concrete would take the longest, the paving goes relatively quickly, with the exception of Main Street, which will be more involved. Main Street may not happen until the end of the fall. We don’t know. The schedule has to be firmed up with contractors and we will be doing that over the next week or two.”

While the village has been repaving roads using unspent funds from previous years, Mr. Hubbard said a bond is needed to pay for this work because there isn’t enough fund balance to pay for these jobs, which he described as the “longest overdue projects.”

The village received a $125,000 grant from the state, village treasurer Robert Brandt said. He added that a $31,800 contingency fund is included in the bond.

The bond, which will be a tax-exempt municipal bond, is expected be repaid over 10 years, the practical lifespan of the work, he said.

Resident Chatty Allen, who drives a school bus for the Greenport School District, said she’s in favor of the construction proposal.

“I commend you on the project to widen Main Street,” she told the Village Board.

Resident John Winkler questioned why the village plans to bond the money instead of paying for the project with a portion of the $1.3 million it plans to receive for allowing the power authority to run an underground electric cable below village streets to Shelter Island.

Mr. Hubbard said the village hasn’t received that payment yet. In addition, he said the cable project isn’t related to the proposed road-widening work.

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated since it was initially posted to more accurately reflect the timing of the project. An earlier version stated the widening of Main Street would begin begin at the end of June. That will only start after other portions of the project are complete.

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Photo credit: Krysten Massa