Arkville sidewalk project stalled for redesign
By Joe Moskowitz
Arkville residents, who have been waiting decades for the crumbling vestiges of a sidewalk on county Road 38 to be replaced, will have to wait a little while longer.
Money from a New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Smart Growth grant has been earmarked to replace the sidewalk. And it will be done, but not until next year.
Town of Middletown Supervisor Marge Miller says part of the problem is that Hubbell Industries, the company that won the bid, is extremely busy. And she says Delaware County Department of Public Works Commissioner Wayne Reynolds would like to consider a redesign that would allow for a safe connection to the Catskill Recreation Center, about a half-mile from the intersection with state Route 28, where the sidewalk work will begin.
Bill Johnson, a co-owner of Hubbell Industries says he is thankful that they are very busy, but says the plans have to go back to the drawing board because they bid on a sidewalk that can’t be built according to the original bid specifications.
Johnson said that the town’s plan called for a replacement for what’s left of the old sidewalk. Nothing more. Nothing less. But Federal Americans with Disability Act requirements say the sidewalk must be five-feet wide. The old one is four-feet wide. That means more materials, more time, and getting easements from property owners. The county requires curbing and drainage, which were not included in the original bid. Johnson says he is certain things can be worked out.
There is, however, the issue of how to get pedestrians from the middle of the hamlet to the under construction Recreation Center. Miller say she doesn’t want to build a sidewalk to nowhere, but a fieldstone embankment at the corner of Barnes Road and county Road 38 does not allow for the continuation of a sidewalk and it is very narrow and dangerous for pedestrians. A number of alternatives are being considered, including a walkway along the Delaware and Ulster Railroad tracks.
Meanwhile other Arkville “Growth” projects are moving forward. Miller said ads will soon be placed for bids on decorative streetlights, and she says, an order will soon be placed for banners to hang from them. They will say, “There is Noah Place Like Arkville.” Both the design, which includes an “Ark” and slogan, are the work of Brian Sweeney who owns Locust Grove Enterprises of Arkville.