Village Seeks Help from Albany re SUP Terminus

Let’s talk turkey. Not Thanksgiving turkey.

Not In My Backyard: South Nyack Residents protest the terminus that will end in their neighborhood/John Cameron

Not In My Backyard: South Nyack residents protest the terminus that will end in their neighborhood/John Cameron

Disappointed that the state is moving forward with plans for the shared use path terminus without the meeting residents have anticipated since last spring, South Nyack Mayor Bonnie Christian and elected officials gathered in front of Village Hall today to criticize project officials’ decision for South Broadway and Cornelison Avenue.

“The shared use path is a critical issue for South Nyack,” Christian said. “A major tourist destination is planned, and we need the governor to review the plan for the terminus so that it meets the needs of those using it while protecting the character and integrity of the village.”

“Shocked is an appropriate word,” Legislator Nancy Low-Hogan said, concerned. “I’m really disappointed and hoping there’s more to the story that I haven’t heard yet. It’s not a good location, there were other plans for other entrances, and this (decision) raises a lot of questions.”

Engineers were studying the NNYB_Rockland_Concepts_20141125-3.

bridge studyAfter months of intensive questionnaires and data collection for the parking demand study, it was determined that the Westchester side needed 97 parking spaces, and the Rockland side needed 54.

From the start, the village maintained the terminus can only be successful if done in conjunction with its plans for redevelopment, Planning Board Chairman Jerry Ilowite said. This is precisely why the village was awarded a $250,000 grant from the $20 million Community Benefits Program to study how to best develop the 25-acre parcel (Interchange 10).

Interchange concept suggested by resident Greg Toolan

Interchange concept suggested by resident Greg Toolan

Greg Toolan, a land surveyor and member of the South Nyack Task Force, was concerned about the intersection’s engineering and submitted one of the concepts — a reworked plan for Exit 10 at a cost of nearly $9 million ($8,850,000). It would put parking at Interchange 10 and on Route 9W Bridge, and connect to the SUP via a closed on-ramp to the Thruway eastbound. Toolan “designed it to maintain the 14-acre staging area, and the on- and off-ramps, and when the project is done, you can give something back to the village.” It was the second most expensive concept; the first cost $9,400.000.

At that, the state said no.

“We have been working collaboratively with South Nyack, its task force and other stakeholders for months on this issue and — at the village’s request — the project team already spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to relocate the end of the shared use path once,” Special Project Advisor Brian Conybeare said.

The village liked this concept, which would cost $3,300,000

The village liked this concept, which would cost $3,300,000

“Now the mayor wants to move it again, at an estimated cost of nearly $10 million, and her plan would require a year-long closure of the South Broadway Bridge in the heart of the village, disrupting traffic and emergency services,” Conybeare said.

He reasoned the state sees no reason to opt for a plan that would cost taxpayers highly, only to find that it may have to be redone in the future once the village decides its plans for the Interchange. “While we will continue to work with the village on reasonable solutions, we also have a responsibility to protect taxpayers and tollpayers,” he said.

Each of the concepts will undergo an environmental review, same as the bridge project. While the twin spans, shared use path and its terminus will be open in 2018, South Nyack only recently released its Request for Proposal (RFP) to conduct a feasibility study.

I’d like to know what you think.

Copyright © Janie Rosman and Kaleidoscope Eyes 2014

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