Hartsdale Four Corners traffic photo

Hartsdale Four Corners traffic flow is being studied for improvements.

Members of the Hartsdale Neighbors Association met with the new leadership of the Greenburgh’s Department of Public Works on April 6 to hear plans for infrastructure projects in Hartsdale, including Four Corners revitalization, sidewalk construction on N. Washington Avenue and an update on the Knollwood and Rumbrook water pump station interconnection.

After DPW Commissioner Victor Carosi retired in December, some familiar faces were promoted to leadership positions in Greenburgh’s DPW. Richard Fon, who was previously the department’s deputy commissioner under Carosi, was promoted to commissioner and Brian Simmons, who previously served as a town engineer, was promoted to deputy commissioner.

“I feel honored to have been able to get the position of commissioner,” said Fon. “I grew up in Greenburgh, went to school in Ardsley, and the area was really a great place to grow up.”

After a quick overview by Fon, Commissioner of Community Development and Conservation Garrett Duquesne discussed many of the projects affecting Hartsdale residents, the most apparent one being Four Corners revitalization, which faced some challenges due the pandemic.

Duquesne said AKRF, a Manhattan-based firm with an office in White Plains tasked with studying the problems at Four Corners, had been “making a lot of good updates on that study.” With traffic conditions altered during the pandemic, Duquesne said the planning work had become difficult, but through the use of GPS-based streetlight data, he was confident they had “a really strong study coming.”

The study will look at traffic updates at the Four Corners intersection, which “could enable potential redevelopment down the line,” said Duquesne. “With that there’s also a stormwater analysis that’s underway … and AKRF is now modeling potential improvements so all of these structure inputs will go into the rethinking for Four Corners.”

Also related to Four Corners, the HNA asked for an update on the DPW’s efforts to resolve the longstanding flooding problems on E. Hartsdale Avenue.

Fon said the E. Hartsdale Avenue corridor had always been an area the DPW was looking at, and had tried to address the issues there by talking with private property owners and cleaning out the stream that often overflows.

“It’s all privately owned and we went and really tried to address the property owners because [they’re] responsible for the maintenance,” said Fon. “That was done once. We really cleaned it out. I think it helped for a while, but now we’re back to where we are.”

Flooding on the E. Hartsdale Avenue is one of the major issues being addressed by AKRF in its Four Corners study. According to Duquesne, AKRF had already documented existing flooding conditions and looked at the 2008 Hartsdale Brook flood control project report by Leonard Jackson Associates, which recommended $26 million in flood mitigation improvements.

“I’m confident they’re going to take a different approach to solutions and I think that they’re going to come up with solutions that can actually be addressed,” Duquesne said, adding that a previous study by Leonard Jackson “identified just an absolute megaproject that I don’t think ever could’ve been built.”  He also said there could be opportunities to apply for state or federal grants for the project.

The town is expecting a flooding report with proporsed solutions from AKRF in the next three to four months.

“The year 2021 is going to be [the year] where traffic and infrastructure issues are brought to the forefront,” said Duquesne. “COVID certainly tripped us up on the traffic [and] to a degree on the stormwater, but this year you will see a lot of activity.”

Despite the lack of ridership and revenue, the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) is moving forward with a project to update the Hartsdale’s Metro-North train station with elevators and new amenities, with a five-month contractor procurement phase.

Duquesne said the MTA was expecting the project to begin in the first quarter of 2022.

After two pedestrians were hit by a car in 2019 at the crosswalk on Central Park Avenue at Lawton Avenue by Sacred Heart Church, the town has been seeking ways to make the crosswalk safer. Duquesne said the town was “past the 90% mark” on having a HAWK (high intensity activated crosswalk) beacon installed at the location with help from the New York State Department of Transportation. The HAWK system will be a pedestrian activated control unit with horizontal lights designed to stop traffic in all directions and give priority to crossing pedestrians.

“We actually have some grant funding to help out that project,” said Duquesne.

The town is also moving ahead with a design for an 1,800-foot linear sidewalk for N. Washington Avenue. The sidewalk will span from Fox Glen Drive to W. Hartsdale Avenue with construction slated to begin in 2022.

Duquesne said the town would send a letter inviting residents around Ridge and Topland roads to participate in a sanitary sewer expansion exploratory meeting.

“It’s one of the few areas of the town that is not connected to sewer and we’re going to do a meeting … via Zoom … [to see] if they have interest and want to learn more about the potential hookup for sewer there, which would have environmental benefits [and] increase home values,” said Duquesne.

Some of the town’s larger proposals will also affect residents of Hartsdale, including the Knollwood and Rumbrook water pump station interconnection and the Con Edison gas main replacement project.

The Knollwood and Rumbrook interconnection water main project, which will connect the two pumping stations with more than one mile of new 30-inch piping, began in the spring of 2020 and is projected to finish by June of this year.

“This project will provide redundancy and reliability to the water distribution system,” said Simmons.

The DPW will also be employing an alternative to milling and paving roadways with a new “hot in place recycling” and a “double microsurfacing treatment project.” The new on-site pavement preservation method for roadways softens asphalt pavement, removes the surface material, mixes it with a recycling agent and lays down new pavement with the recycled mix.

In 2021, Simmons said, the DPW will fix up to 7 lane miles of roadways with the new method, which is around 3.5 center-line miles. The project will begin this month and will be completed by July.

On Crosshill Road in Hartsdale, Simmons said a drain line was currently being replaced from Rochambeau Drive to Topland Road and is expected to be completed by the summer.

The town’s DPW has also been informed by Con Edison that the utility company was planning for gas main restructure replacements, which are currently in the design phase. Con Edison will be working on the roads north of E. Hartsdale Avenue to Jane Street by the Highview Elementary School and between Mercer and Central avenues.

“The design is expected to be finalized by the summer, with construction to follow soon thereafter,” said Simmons.

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