By DANIEL OFFNER
Plans for the repair and resurfacing of Route 120—along Purchase Street from the Rye City border to Lake Street in West Harrison—are currently in the works, according to officials with the New York State Department of Transportation.
After securing $3.5 million from the 2013 state budget, Assemblyman David Buchwald, a Democrat, announced last month that DOT plans to accelerate necessary repairs to Rte. 120, a state-owned roadway that runs along an 18-mile stretch beginning in Rye.
“Keeping our roads in good working condition will help drivers stay safe,” Buchwald said. “Investments in infrastructure not only improve the condition of our local roads, they make the area more attractive to businesses and help support the local economy.”
According to Buchwald, the funding was first awarded earlier this year for the N.Y. Works capital program, which supplements the state’s existing road and bridge capital plan.
Jennifer Post, a press officer with the state DOT, said, “Now that funding is secured, we plan to put the project out to bid this winter, with the work to be completed in spring.”
Since taking office in 2012, Harrison Mayor Ron Belmont, a Republican, said he received numerous complaints from Purchase residents, bicyclists and motorists about the condition of the road.
“Ever since I came into office, I have been in contact with the state,” Belmont said. “Something had to get done.”
According to Belmont, after hearing residents’ complaints about the state roadway, he approached New York State Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, during Cuomo’s recent visit to SUNY Purchase College. After several discussions with the state DOT and Cuomo’s office, Belmont announced the project was green lit.
Locals of the area seemed encouraged by the movement on the project.
“It’s just about time they did [repairs]; that road’s been bad for a while,” Donna Campion, an employee of Fredrick’s Dry Cleaners in West Harrison, said.
For Matty Henao, a 19-year-old Westchester Community College student, the 45-mph strip along Purchase Street was where he got into his first car accident.
“It’s a really windy road,” Henao said. “[Repairing] it would be a good thing…I figure, why not?”
Mayor Belmont said he encouraged members of the Purchase Fire Department and others in the Purchase community to write letters to the state requesting it repair the road.
“[The Purchase Environmental Protective Association] shares the mayor’s concern for the deteriorating conditions of Purchase Street and very much appreciates the town’s attention to this important roadway,” PEPA executive director Anne Gold said.
Although there is no official start date, as of press time, the DOT has just a few short months to develop its plans—which may require detours and lane closures during the construction—before the start of the winter season when the project will go out to bid.