FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Odell to Cut Ribbon for Philipstown Road Re-Opening

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MaryEllen Odell
Putnam County Executive
(845) 808-1001

September 17, 2013

Odell to Cut Ribbon for Philipstown Road Re-Opening

Major repair work done by CMC Construction Group on Snake Hill Road in Philipstown has been completed and Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell will meet with several officials including Commissioner of Highways Fred Pena, Deputy Commissioner John Tully, Planning and Design Supervisor Mark Rosa, Legislator Barbara Scuccimarra, Project Manager Katherine Blaustein, and Project Foreman Irmantas Duda for a ribbon cutting to mark the re-opening of the important connector road between Routes 9 and 9D.

The event will take place on Thursday, Sept. 19 at 1 p.m. on the bridge at the point where Avery Road and North Redoubt Road intersect with Snake Hill Road. The road, whose bridge was heavily damaged during Hurricane Irene, will officially open to the public at 1 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 20.

When Hurricane Irene tore through Putnam, the storm damaged 22 bridges throughout the county. Philipstown was particularly hard hit. Numerous roads were closed and several areas suffered such severe flooding that entire roads were washed out. Following a Sept. 2011 visit from Sen. Charles Schumer, Putnam was designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency as a county that qualified for public and individual disaster assistance.

“In the last two years, Putnam County has experienced three major storm systems that caused unbelievable damage – Hurricane Irene, Tropical Storm Lee and Superstorm Sandy. We have managed to deal with the destruction these storms left in their wake, but it has taken its financial toll and cost us hundreds of thousands of dollars,” said Odell. “Snake Hill Road was among the biggest of these storm related projects and while this was a model of close coordination and cooperation among numerous agencies and the County Highway Department, we were under some unusual restrictions set by outside agencies. Still, and through the efforts of Commissioner Pena and his staff, and Legislator Barbara Scuccimarra, all of whom worked closely and coordinated with the numerous agencies involved, Snake Hill Road has been wholly repaired.”  

The job began on June 23, 2013 and the road was officially closed to the public on Monday, June 26. The work encompassed two FEMA funded projects and included the complete demolition of culvert 11-1 and its placement with a 6 x 12 structural plate arch culvert. The stream bed was diverted and environmental erosion controls had to be installed. Finally, the pavement was restored and marked and new guardrails were put in place. The second project involved a major stream bank restoration performed at culvert 11-2.

“The project was well designed and constructed with no major issues from the involved agencies, including NYS Parks, DEC and DEP,” said Pena.

Unusual issues which had to be dealt with included obtaining permission from NYS Parks as a portion of the land was under their control while another portion was privately owned and officials had to procure a time-consuming easement from a property owner. And then there was the most unusual issue of all.

According to the DEC, the time frame within which the work could be done had to avoid the spawning season of local trout between the months of October and April. Once that was determined, officials decided the project could not safely begin until the end of the school year. 

“Weather was mostly cooperative throughout the summer and the project moved along well,” said Pena.

Scuccimarra praised those working on the job. She was particularly impressed when school opened and construction workers actually guided the buses full of children through the work zone. 

“They were working 10 hour days and six days per week to get the job done,” said Scuccimarra “and when school opened, the workers escorted the buses through the construction site. It was really above and beyond,” she said.  

Pena said the project was well coordinated with local officials, residents, highway, fire, ambulance and police. Although the project area was not in a heavily populated segment of the road, homeowners were advised to access there properties from either Route 9 or Route 9D.

“I believe we did an excellent job of reaching out to everyone impacted and providing ample notice,” Pena said. “I would like to thank all of the county team members who help bring this project to completion and the local community for their co-operation.”

While Snake Hill Road will be open to the public after 1 p.m. on Friday, some construction will continue. The traveling public is advised to be alert as there may be alternate lane closures due to additional FEMA repair work along a stream bank wall adjacent to the Walter Hoving Home property. Construction signs will continue to be posted along that portion of Snake Hill Road until October 31, 2013.