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Why does it take so long to construct sidewalks...timetable for Fort Hill, Seely Place, Sprain Road
Release Date: August 06, 2016

Earlier this year the Town Board appropriated funds for three major new sidewalks: Fort Hill from Ardsley Road heading south from Ardsley Road....Seely Place to Seely Place School...Sprain Road to Ardsley Middle School.  Each of these sidewalks will make it easier and safer for children to walk to area schools.  The Town Board and I are committed to appropriating funds in upcoming budgets for additional sidewalks. We will also be applying for federal and state financial assistance so we could do even more. 


 Among goals for 2017: Juniper Hill near the Lee Jackson School. The bottom of Old Tarrytown Road heading to the N White Plains train station also needs a sidewalk. Ardsley Road, other sections of Ft Hill Road  not being constructed this year also need our attention. And, there are missing  sidewalk links on Central Ave that also need a sidewalk. I can go on and on.  The town will be appropriating funds for sidewalk construction annually. Our goal: to make the town much more pedestrian friendly. Last year over 3 miles of sidewalks were built. This year another 3+ miles of new sidewalks will also be built.  This is only the beginning of a major town initiative!


The following is a timetable for construction of sidewalks on Ft Hill, Sprain and Seely.  It's a bit frustrating how long it takes to build a sidewalk. I thought you would find the following explanation written by Commissioner of Public Works Victor Carosi interesting.


Fort Hill Road sidewalk work:

The project is currently out to bid, with bids due back on Friday, August 12, 2016.

Projected time line: Town Board approve contract Tuesday, August 23rd or 30th (depending on Council special meeting availability), possible construction begin September


Seely Place Sidewalk:

                The project design and documents are complete.  Bids are due Thursday September 8, 2016.

                Projected time line: Possible Town Board award on September 14 or Tuesday September 20.  Construction may begin  around October 11, 2016.



Sprain Road:

The project design and documents are 90% complete.  Schedule for bids due Wednesday, September 14, 2016.

                Projected time line: Possible Town Board award on September 28.  Construction may begin  around October 17, 2016.  Road to be repaved also.

The projected construction time table is just an estimate. The contractors schedule, weather and other factors could impact construction timetable.



 WHY DOES IT TAKE SO LONG TO BUILD A SIDEWALK?  Commmissioner of Public Works Victor Carosi:

To answer the question about what goes into constructing a sidewalk – the short answer is a lot.
Most of the time is the pre-planning of the work to ensure to the extent practicable, that all issues are addressed to avoid problems once construction actually starts.  This involves review of all available maps to show property lines, topographic information, and utilities.  To obtain all this base information involves reaching out to other utility companies to share their infrastructure information, and then several meetings with various utility owners to verify conditions.  Such action can take several months to accomplish.
Concurrent with the above, the engineers will sketch out a preliminary plan, and then again verify for conflicts with known obstructions, including utility poles, land features, trees, landscaping, property lines, and site geometry and ability to comply with codes, such as the ADA.  While doing field work, existing infrastructure issues are usually encountered and must be addressed, including drainage and pavement conditions.  During this aspect of the design, internal meetings are held to discuss options and solutions to the various problems that may be encountered.  For instance, depending on side slope, is a retaining wall necessary.  If so, what type of wall may be best?  How would constructing a wall impact drainage?  Utilities?  Aesthetics? Safety?  Is a safety rail needed?  Maybe a fence?  How could such be attached to the wall?  Could that impact the wall design?  Drainage is always a factor.  In some cases, when laying out the sidewalk, a drainage concern is identified.  That then requires an entirely new set of engineering actions.  And yet another factor to be considered is the availability of right of way – land under Town ownership to actually place the sidewalk, and what impact such may have to the adjacent properties and access to those properties, such as driveways.  The above is of course just a sampling of the many questions engineers must resolve when faced with implementing a  sidewalk project.
In time, all the above and others are factored into the design.  At each step in the process, the engineers pause to evaluate the costs as different options can alter the cost of the project.  A project, such as the proposed sidewalk along Sprain Road, staff has been working on the design for about 6 to 7 months and is now preparing final bid documents.
Broadly speaking, for first suggestion, to preliminary budgeting, to Capital appropriations to final design and ultimately construction start, a sidewalk project could take over 2-years, may longer depending on complexity and budgeting cycles.

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