$2.2 million Route 28 project ready for paving

By Jay Braman Jr.
There’s $2.2 million in Federal Stimulus dollars headed to the Town of Shandaken, where electronic road signs signal the beginning of a repaving project for Route 28.
The signs, located just west of Phoenicia and east of mount Tremper, announce that the project will begin on Aug. 10.
According to New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) officials, the plan is to repave approximately four miles of Route 28 between routes 212 and 214 in the Town of Shandaken. The top layer of worn, deteriorated pavement will be removed and replaced with new asphalt and fresh pavement markings to extend the service life of the pavement.
That’s all well and good, but local officials say the project doesn’t go far enough.
It was over a year ago that local residents began publicly complaining about the highway, warning that it is so bad that it must be fully repaired.
This month Town Supervisor Peter DiSclafani prepared the following petition:
“The condition of state Route 28 throughout the Town of Shandaken is a danger to public safety. Except for a two-mile section at the eastern entrance to town in Mount Tremper, Route 28 has not been paved for over 20 years,” it states. “The section of road from the Mount Tremper bridge to Route 42 is in such a state of disrepair, it is impossible in some sections not to veer into the on-coming traffic or onto the shoulder. Though it is a DOT “designated bike path”, the shoulder has missing pavement for most of the roadway and is unsafe for those on bicycles.
In addition to town officials and county officials, the Village of Fleischmanns, the Village of Margaretville, the Town of Andes, the Town of Olive, and the Town of Middletown representing the Central Catskills Coll- aborative, along with the Town of Shandaken, have contacted state officials numerous times to urge the repair of the entire road. We, the undersigned, believe the stretch of Route 28 running through the Town of Shandaken is dangerous and unless the state acts to repair the deteriorated pavement, lives could be lost. As Shandaken depends on year-round tourism, it is imperative for the safety of travelers and for the attractiveness of our town, for Route 28 be in good repair. We urge Governor David Patterson and Acting Commissioner Stanley Gee to act quickly to add this project to the capital list for 2009/2010 to repair and repave this entire section of Route 28.”
DiSclafani recalls that earlier this year it was announced that $13 million had been allocated for the repaving of Route 28, but Ulster County officials reallocated most of those funds to projects in more populated areas of the county.