Construction of the 1,000-foot concrete sidewalk from the Ardsley and Highland roads Bee-Line bus stop behind Greenville Elementary School to the Fort Hill Road intersection was completed on May 26.
The sidewalk, which is ADA-compliant, wraps around the corner at Ardsley and Fort Hill roads and continues just north past the driveway at 344 Fort Hill Road.
Even after experiencing a two-day delay on May 21 when workers found an abandoned Con Edison gas line, the project, which was designed in-house and completed by a private contractor, finished a week and a half ahead of schedule.
According to Greenburgh’s Commissioner of Public Works Richard Fon, the town didn’t go out to bid on the project and instead used excess funds from a budgeted sidewalk project on Old Tarrytown Road to complete the sidewalk. In September 2020, the town board approved a resolution awarding Peter J. Landi Construction $705,110 to complete a sidewalk improvement project on Old Tarrytown Road and Manhattan Avenue. The town also received a $200,000 Community Development Block Grant contract to help fund the sidewalk construction.
During a special meeting in March, the town board approved a change order to extend the 2020 contract and award an additional amount not to exceed $821,510 to Peter J. Landi Construction. At the meeting, Fon said the Old Tarrytown Road and Manhattan Avenue sidewalk project had come under budget and that the town wanted to use excess funds for an Ardsley Road sidewalk.
At the meeting, Fon said he wanted the sidewalk completed on Ardsley Road “sooner [rather] than later” because the pandemic had reduced the number of cars on the roadway, which is a heavily traveled throughfare for residents.
The board unanimously approved the change order, though Councilman Francis Sheehan questioned whether or not the town might have received a better deal if the projects were put out for bid all at once.
According to Jim Meehan, a senior civil engineer with the town, the sidewalk on Ardsley Road is expected to cost the town between $200,000 and $240,000. Meehan could not provide a specific cost to the Inquirer but said the project “seemed to be within that range.”
The town’s engineering department will now start early outreach work on Phase 2 of the sidewalk project, which will include extending the sidewalk on Fort Hill Road from the Ardsley Road intersection to Longview Drive.
Currently, Fort Hill Road is outfitted with a crumbling footpath with multiple trees and utility poles blocking pedestrians’ path.
Fon told the Inquirer the town had already received the land survey for the proposed sidewalk on Fort Hill Road, and he said that because sidewalk construction would include property encroachments, the engineering department would be reaching out to the affected homeowners within the next month and a half.
Unlike the sidewalk on Ardsley Road, the sidewalk extension on Fort Hill Road will be put out for bid.
Greenburgh Town Supervisor Paul Feiner said that even if one homeowner is not in favor of the sidewalk on Fort Hill Road, he is committed to getting the project completed.
“There’s a lot of widespread support for it among the community, so I think there’s going to be a lot of pressure on residents to work with the town, because it is dangerous without a sidewalk,” said Feiner, adding that he’d like to have the sidewalk completed this year.
After eventually completing Phase 2 of the project on Fort Hill Road, Feiner told the Inquirer his goal is to fully extend a concrete sidewalk the rest of the way down Fort Hill Road to Underhill Road. Underhill and Fort Hill roads has been a problem area for pedestrians, as seen in 2019 when a 67-year-old Edgemont resident was hit and killed by a car at the intersection. The death brought to light many of the longstanding sidewalk and pedestrian issues plaguing the town, even though members of the Edgemont Community Council had been fighting for sidewalk enhancements in the hamlet for more than 20 years.
Since then, members of the town’s Department of Community Development & Conservation attended multiple community meetings and drafted a sidewalk prioritization study in 2020 that strategized a two-phase, 12-year rollout to fill 9.93 miles of sidewalk gaps within the town at an approximate cost of $20.5 million.
A sidewalk on Fort Hill Road from Ardsley Road to Longview Drive and Longview Drive to Underhill Road was included as part of Phase 1 in the prioritization study.
“There is nothing more important than pedestrian safety,” said Feiner. “I really am thrilled that we’re making progress.”