New Castle Supervisor’s Report – 8/10/2018
Supervisor, New Castle
Downtown Chappaqua Infrastructure and Streetscape Project Update
The recent storms have once again highlighted the need to upgrade our storm-sewer system (i.e. drainage). Over the past year we have replaced our entire water system and sewer system. Con Ed replaced their gas lines. All our work is staged pursuant to engineering. We are currently working on upgrading our stormwater system (i.e. drainage).
The existing stormwater sewer is currently being replaced with approximately 650 feet +/- of new twin 24” diameter reinforced concrete pipe and approximately 820 feet +/- of new 24” diameter ductile iron pipe. We are also replacing and/or repairing existing catch basins, frames and grates and installing 13 new reinforced concrete drainage structures in and along South and North Greeley Avenue as well. We started our drainage work at the existing concrete box culvert, located southerly of the existing Shell Service Station to Woodburn Avenue. Connections to the culvert continued up South Greeley Avenue. Once we hit the intersection of King Street and South Greeley Avenue – hopefully next week – we’ll attempt to install temporary connection on North Greeley Avenue to the culvert. Drainage work will then continue up North Greeley Avenue.
Some have asked why we couldn’t start the drainage work on North Greeley Avenue. The answer is that work needed to start at the culvert since it is standard construction practice to commence the drainage installation at the lowest point in order to allow for all upstream flows not be impacted during construction and will allow the contractor to maintain proper grade with all existing upstream conditions that may be encountered during construction. Storm drainage is expected to be completed by September.
Today, we have started our new curbs & sidewalks. They started saw cutting the roadway by Washington to Woodburn Ave for our new curbs. They will then excavate for our new granite curbs and start installation. This work is taking place during the day. Con Ed continue to move and replace their poles.
A few updates regarding some vacant space in downtown Chappaqua. The broker who handled the old Chappaqua Tavern space is handling the Hall of Scoops vacancy. There is an application pending to put a taco place in the old Dunkin Donuts. As well, the Shell Station has an application pending to renovate their gas station & add a convenience store.
Traffic Light timing at the intersection of Roaring Brook Road and the Saw Mill Parkway
Many have noticed the change in the timing of the traffic lights that affect the grade crossing at the intersection of Roaring Brook Road and the Saw Mill Parkway. After the accident in Valhalla at the Commerce street rail crossing, the Metropolitan Transit Authority hired a consultant engineering firm to review all Metro North at grade rail crossings. On June 20, 2018 the New York State Department of Transportation (“NYSDOT”) and Metro North activated railroad preemption on the traffic signal at the Saw Mill River Parkway @ Roaring Brook Road.
To summarize the preemption operation, when a train is detected, west bound Roaring Brook Road receives 34 seconds of green time to clear the train tracks, after this interval the remaining time is allocated to the Saw Mill River Parkway. The signal will not return to normal operation until the train clears the preemption area. During the preemption event, the signal is prevented from giving a green signal to east bound Roaring Brook Road, as motorists would be directed toward the train tracks.
A single rail preemption event would not represent a substantial delay. NYSDOT reviewed the data for the first month of operation, each peak hour period (morning and afternoon) has at least one set of successive preemption events.
A successive preemption event is a train entering within 1 minute period of a train exiting the preemption zone. This causes some phases to be “skipped”, as the next train arrives and initiates a preemption event before the traffic signal has had a chance to return to normal operation. This would lead to east bound motorists on Roaring Brook Road being “skipped”. The traffic signal has not had sufficient time to return to normal operation and complete a green phase for eastbound Roaring Brook Road motorists, before the next train arrives and forces the signal into a preemption event.
NYSDOT is responsible for observing the roadway traffic intersection at Roaring Brook Road and the Saw Mill not Metro-North. Any adjustment to the traffic signal cycle is entirely the responsibility of the DOT. NYSDOT has advised us that they will continue to monitor this intersection and make timing adjustments as necessary. The Town is also studying various mitigation measures that can be implemented including the installation of an entrance ramp to the SMRP for EB right turning traffic on Roaring Brook Road (west side of SMRP)· We are requesting a meeting with the MTA and NYS DOT.
Ever since the accident in Valhalla, the Town of New Castle has been advocating for a bridge over the grade crossing and SMRP. We even commissioned WSP to investigate a bridge. We have also advocated for inclusion of this project in the Statewide Transportation Improvement Program (STIP) so we can receive Federal funding. There is no doubt that construction of a bridge to eliminate the railroad crossing is the most effective way to address safety, traffic, and air quality concerns at the intersection. Rest assured, we will continue to advocate for a bridge to eliminate the grade crossing entirely and replacement with a bridge over both the MNRR Harlem Line and Saw Mill River Parkway.
As far as Roaring Brook Road, we are expecting the traffic light to be installed and all other road work to be completed by the time of school opening.
We are currently working on the foundation for our new community sign. Our two electronic message boards will be situated across from the Shell station in downtown Chappaqua. This is a great example of working with Chappaqua Central School District for the benefit of the community. Thank you again to Keiko & Bill Spade for designing the base.
Basketball Court / Pickleball
As many know, we are planning to install a new playground and brand new basketball court behind Town Hall. Following Bedford’s lead, we are looking to use new basketball for pickleball as well. Ike Kuzio, our Superintendent of Recreation & Parks, has reached out to the Bedford to get some info/feedback on their pickleball program.
We awarded our train station taxi contract to Pleasantville Taxi (914-610-8668).
We started paving the commuter lot in 2016. We did another section last year, and will do a 3rd section this year. As always, paving of the commuter lot will take place during the last two weeks of August. Prep work has started.
Chappaqua Performing Arts Center
We received a $24,425 grant to sponsor senior programming & capital improvements. As far as programming, I look forward to the lecture series, concerts, discounted tickets for senior programming, 92nd Street Y Simulcasts, Independent Film Series. As far as capital improvements, & the installation of acoustic equipment to improve sound quality at the Chappaqua Performing Arts Center & the installation of a new screen. We thank the generosity of our donor.
Westchester County Airport
I’m looking forward to a meeting with Senator Kirsten Gillibrand’s office next Tuesday to discuss the issues facing our community.