Village sidewalk project on track

Published 9:48 pm Tuesday, June 19, 2012

City workers install a new sidewalk along Godwin Boulevard in Chuckatuck last week. The project is scheduled for completion by fall, but wild weather would push it out further.

The sidewalk improvement project underway in Chuckatuck and Oakland is on track for completion this fall, Suffolk Public Works Director Eric Nielsen said.

But the completion schedule is heavily dependent on what happens with the weather, Nielsen added.

The first phase of the project between Pembroke and Brown lanes is already complete, including 3,500 linear feet of sidewalk and the same length of curbing, 15 storm water inlets, four pedestrian ramps and 25 driveway entrances, according to an update presented to a town hall meeting about six months ago.

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The second phase, continuing up from Brown Lane to Kings Highway, should be finished in the fall, Nielsen said.

But the familiar sight of reflective vest- and hardhat-clad city construction workers would continue for longer than that with a repeat of 2011’s wild weather.

“The project is being done by the Public Works staff,” Nielsen said. “If a hurricane or some other major event requires Public Works crews to redirect themselves, that’s the only way I can see it being delayed.”

The project was set back last year when work crews were diverted to the Hurricane Irene cleanup.

The sidewalk project is included in the Chuckatuck/Oakland Initiatives Plan, which was developed a little over a decade ago.

“They went out many years ago to all the villages and had community focus groups” where residents drew up lists of their wants, needs and wishes, Nielsen said.

“One of the priorities from Chuckatuck was the need for sidewalks.”

Other projects included in the Chuckatuck/Oakland plan are a stoplight at Kings Highway and updated village entrance signs.

Construction on the sidewalk project started almost six years ago. It has been rolled out as money has become available.

According to the update presentation, the project cost is $604,000. Nielsen said the money is coming from Village and Neighborhood Improvements category of the Capital Improvements Budget.

Nielsen said the sidewalk will make Chuckatuck and Oakland safer communities for folks to walk around.

Sidewalks are only being installed on the side of Godwin Boulevard with more houses to reduce the cost, which would have doubled with both sides of the road in the plan.