BY ROBERT KNIGHT
ROCKLAND COUNTY TIMES
The Town of Orangetown plans to revitalize the downtown business district in Pearl River starting later this year, and will kick off the campaign with a public information meeting on the project next Tuesday, Sept. 4.
The meeting, which is open to everyone, will begin at 6:15 pm in the board meeting room at the Town Hall, 26 Orangeburg Road in Orangeburg.
According to Orangetown Highway Superintendent James Dean, the meeting “is being held to allow all interested parties to review the project plans in an informal setting, to comment on them and to ask questions of town personnel who will be present.”
The project objective is to improve pedestrian facilities along local downtown streets in Pearl River and to beautify the area. It will include reconstructing the concrete sidewalks along the east side of South Main Street, between Franklin Avenue and East Central Avenue; and along the south side of East Central Avenue between South Main Street and the Pearl River Hook and Ladder Firehouse, adjacent to the Central Avenue Field.
Planned improvements include the following:
The existing concrete curbs will be replaced with granite curbs, similar to those recently installed in downtown Tappan.
The existing concrete sidewalk blocks will be replaced with red brick pavers between the curbs and the first expansion joints.
The existing concrete sidewalks themselves will remain in place.
Detectable warning fields will be added to make all sidewalk ramps within the project limits ADA compliant (Americans with Disabilities Act).
There are currently streetscape trees in concrete pits with metal grates throughout the project area. The concrete pits will be partially removed and replaced with structural soil while the metal grates will be replaced with permeable pit covers. The existing trees will remain.
All existing streetlights, parking meters, pedestrian poles, street signs and water valves are to remain where they are currently located.
There will be no changes to the fronts of buildings along the streets, other than what the owners or tenants may themselves undertake.
Dean says no right-of-way acquisition will be required for the three blocks in the project area.
Construction is anticipated to begin next year, and be completed within a month or two.
During the construction period, Dean says short-term daily closures of the parallel parking spots along the east side of South Main Street and the south side of East Central Avenue will be required to complete some of the work. Driveways within the project area will be closed only while they are being reconstructed, but will otherwise remain open to access rear parking spaces.
Anyone with questions or comments about the project can attend the public information meeting next Tuesday, or contact Stephen Munno, senior administrative assistant in the town highway Department at any time by visiting the town garage at 119 Route 303 in Orangeburg, or calling him at 359-6500.