GovernmentThe Putnam Examiner

Peekskill Hollow Rd Work Begins, Completion Expected in One Year

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It was standing room only at Putnam Valley fire house last week with more than 100 people anxious to hear the work schedule to complete construction for the Peekskill Hollow Road project.

The meeting was hosted by Putnam County Executive Kevin Byrne, Putnam Valley Supervisor Jacqueline Annabi and Putnam County Legislator Bill Gouldman.

Construction on the longest road in the county was stopped late 2021 when the former contractor abandoned the project, leaving roads and bridges unsafe and hampered with construction debris. At the time, only 18 percent of the work had been completed.

“I know how much so many of our residents rely on Peekskill Hollow Road,” said Byrne.

“Obviously there’s been a lot of hardship over this project for the last several years.”

Spread throughout the room were large maps showing key construction points. Residents were invited to fill out cards with specific questions about the project and related topics.

Representatives from the newly hired construction company ELQ Industries outlined the main phases of the project. The country’s contractual agreement with ELQ stipulates a completion date of July 31, 2024 when all work must be finalized.

The project includes bridge rehabilitations, widening lanes, adding new sidewalks, turn lanes, new traffic signals and drainage improvements.

ELQ started work last week, according to Peter Ragone, ELQ Project Manager, who has lived in the area for more than 40 years and is familiar with the local roads.

“The first two weeks will be inspection and corrective work so we can figure out where the last contractor left off, make sure if there’s nothing that has to be corrected and then we are full speed ahead,” he said.

Ragone said they are focused on getting the Oscawana Lake Road Bridge completed before the contract completion date. “Hopefully that steel plate will be gone by winter,” he added.

Work for the first four months on Peekskill Hollow Road will include the removal of the steel plates. By early May 2024, both sides of the bridge are expected to be open.

The project also includes setting up erosion control, shoulder reconstruction at Jim Lane, four-foot shoulders for spot drainage improvement near Berry Hill and underground infiltration basins near Lovers Lane and Pembroke Court.

The entire project will include new traffic signals at Oscawana Lake Road and Peekskill Hollow Road where a newly repaired bridge will be widened to four lanes and have a sidewalk. A new traffic light will be installed at Putnam High School, along with a new left turn lane. Repairs to the bridge over Peekskill Hollow Creek are also scheduled.

Ragone said work at the different locations will be done simultaneously by different road crews. “It’s going to move fast. We are here to help,” he said.

The projected cost of the entire project is about $17.9 million. In May, the Putnam County Legislature unanimously approved borrowing up to $5.8 million to complete the project. Federal funding will pay for about 80 percent of the project and the county is paying close to 20 percent while seeking other monies and reimbursements.

After the previous contractor was hired by former Putnam County Executive MaryEllen Odell, frustration mounted over the lack of communication and has long been a major complaint by residents.


“For years we have been trying to figure out what was going on,” said Annabi. “We were unable to get diagrams and couldn’t tell what was going on. Communication is key.”

Half of the two-hour meeting heard several questions from the public. Many wanted to know if the project’s new drainage systems could help damages incurred by homeowners from the July storm that saw severe flooding.

Byrne was able to connect residents to officials who could help and who were at the meeting including  Putnam Valley Highway Superintendent Shawn Keeler, County DPW (Department of Public Works) Acting Deputy Commissioner Joseph Bellucci, and Putnam County Acting Administrator for Planning John Tully.

Byrne also informed residents that FEMA and Individual Assistance programs were still being evaluated by state and federal government agencies.


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