PLATTSBURGH — The City of Plattsburgh will be getting the money needed to start the renovation of a stretch of South Catherine Street, a major thoroughfare in the south end.
"This is great news," City Engineer Kevin Farrington said at Thursday evening's work session.
The State Department of Transportation said the city will be getting $3 million towards the $8 million project, which will allow construction to go forward.
The project will include a major overhaul of South Catherine from the Richard S. Perry Bridge to South Peru Street. That section of the road has been notorious for its uneven surface and plethora of potholes.
The construction will include a new road, curbing and all new water, sewer and storm-sewer systems.
The design was completed last year with the help of about $600,000 in funding from the federal government, and the project has been shovel-ready. The city was told by the state that it would be a matter of time before funding would come through, and they expected it in either late 2013 or early 2014.
"This is the news we've been waiting for, and now we can get going," Mayor James Calnon said.
In 2012, former Mayor Donald Kasprzak took Gov. Andrew Cuomo on a bus tour of the city, which included a rough ride down South Catherine Street. The project was soon bumped to near the top of the list for state funding.
Farrington said the city will seek construction bids for the job, and hopefully work can get started in the spring and be completed by the end of this year.
Calnon said the funding news Thursday ensures that the rest of the money needed for the project will come available. The road is a city thoroughfare, but officially it is considered Route 22, a state road.
The city is responsible for the upkeep.
"On behalf of the City of Plattsburgh, we are thrilled to be able to move forward on this much needed and much anticipated street improvement project on one of our most important arterial roadways," Calnon said.
"I am grateful to Gov. Cuomo and New York State Department of Transportation for their partnership in making this project possible."
The city had made the project a priority in recent years in order to improve traffic flow from the south end of the city to Plattsburgh International Airport. South Catherine Street is one of only three routes that cross the Saranac River within the city limits.
Both State Sen. Betty Little (R-Queensbury) and Assemblywoman Janet Duprey (R-Peru) supported state funding for the work.
"Moving forward on this project helps move the economy forward in Plattsburgh," Little said in a statement.
"There will be a long-term benefit for city commerce important to local businesses and residents while providing visitors an improved and more welcoming means of getting to the places they want to go."
"This main artery through the city has been in dire need of replacement for several years," Duprey said in a statement.
"This reconstruction will greatly benefit all who travel this route, especially those residents and businesses in the south end of the city."
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