The replacement of a gas main on lower King Street in downtown Chappaqua which has inconvenienced merchants and shoppers is scheduled to be completed this week.
Town Administrator Jill Shapiro said last Friday that the final leg of Con Edison’s installation of the new main is anticipated to be completed by this Thursday. Earlier this summer crews completed similar work underneath portions of Washington Avenue and South Greeley Avenue.
Shapiro said the town has worked with Con Edison and King Street business owners to have as little disruption as possible. Shapiro said crews were already contacted after they made it appear that the street was closed.
Officials hoped to have more work done at night, but with residences not far from the area crews were limited to what they could do after dark.
“A lot of people are inconvenienced and it’s really hard on the merchants when you have that activity,” said Shapiro.
Although the street remained open last week, that didn’t help some merchants who have had to endure a week of no parking and crews working on the street. Last Friday, Arnold Veshta, owner of Mario’s Pizza, pointed out there were no customers in his establishment near the end of the lunch hour.
He said without parking in front of the stores and the presence of wooden barriers or traffic cones, many customers are avoiding the street altogether.
“I don’t care what kind of things you do, it’s a distraction,” Veshta said. “People are going to think there’s no one open even though there is. People are going to take an alternate route.”
Randy Leroy, manager of Chappaqua Village Market, said he’s glad that the work was done during one of the slowest periods of the year. If it had happened during next month’s Jewish holidays, or heading into Thanksgiving or the Christmas season it would have had greater negative impact, Leroy said.
Although the gas main work is nearly over, it could be considered a dress rehearsal for the more extensive downtown infrastructure work next year. Shapiro said sewer and water main work is scheduled for 2015, although officials don’t yet have a projected date for when the work will commence.
Following completion of the infrastructure project, there will then be streetscape improvements, Shapiro said.
Martin has more than 30 years experience covering local news in Westchester and Putnam counties, including a frequent focus on zoning and planning issues. He has been editor-in-chief of The Examiner since its inception in 2007. Read more from Martin’s editor-author bio here. Read Martin’s archived work here: https://www.theexaminernews.com/author/martin-wilbur2007/