By JOE LoTEMPLIO
---- — PLATTSBURGH — Efforts to secure the rest of the funding to re-pave South Catherine Street in the City of Plattsburgh continue.
About half of the $8 million needed to do an overhaul of the road, which is a main thoroughfare in the city, has been pledged by the State Department of Transportation.
City Engineer Kevin Farrington said about $4 million has been approved for the design of the project, work on right-of-ways and some of the construction.
He recently submitted an application for another $4 million to complete the work.
The regional DOT office deemed the project one of its top five priorities for the region and forwarded it to State DOT headquarters in Albany.
Farrington said design is about 95 percent complete.
“So we should be ‘shovel ready,’ as they like to say, by the end of the calendar year,” he said.
If the remaining funding is approved, construction on the project could begin in 2014.
Farrington said he hopes to hear from the state in the fall.
Mayor Donald Kasprzak has been lobbying Albany for support of the project.
“I have repeatedly stated during my tenure that South Catherine Street has always been a priority reconstruction project,” he said in a statement to the Press-Republican.
“While I appreciate the frustration of the public with the lack of movement on this, the fact is I have personally informed Gov. (Andrew) Cuomo and DOT of the importance of this project.
“Not only has DOT provided the design funding for this $6 (million) to $8 million project, but they also have stated the complete funding will be available in 2014.
“I am confident Gov. Cuomo and DOT will follow-up with their commitment next year.”
Councilor Mark Tiffer (D-Ward 2), who represents the South Catherine Street area and is a member of the city’s Infrastructure Committee, said the project is critical.
“As someone who has grown up and lived in the South End, I know how important South Catherine Street is and how poor of a condition the street has been and continues to be,” he told the P-R.
“In fact, the overall condition of our infrastructure, particularly South Peru Street and South Catherine Street, inspired me, many years ago, to want to get involved in our city and make a difference.”
Tiffer said the project will improve traffic flow, parking and pedestrian access, which is greatly needed.
Farrington said the work could take a full construction season from spring through fall or may need to be spread out over two seasons due to the size of the project and extensive utility work involved.
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