DRYDEN — With designs drawn and an application put together, the village is now awaiting approval from the state Department of Transportation to install new sidewalks.
The plan has been in development for about two years when the village received nearly $400,000 in grant funding from the Federal Highway Administration.
“It’s taken forever,” Mayor Reba Taylor said in a phone interview Monday. “I thought we’d be a lot further ahead on the project.”
Fisher Associates, of Rochester, was the firm hired to develop the plans and designs for the project, and Taylor said the village hired the company because its representatives said they were ready to hit the ground running. But for Taylor, the process has gone much slower than expected.
“(Fisher Associates) just have not been as quick as I thought,” Taylor said.
Taylor’s biggest concern is that the village needs to show progress with the project or it could lose the grant. So far, the village has been able to meet the state’s guidelines. And it received final plans for the project from Fisher last week, she said.
The plan is to have sidewalks all the way along North, Elm, George, James, South and Union streets, which only have small sections of sidewalks along them.
The main purpose is to help ensure safe passage for pedestrians, especially children on their way to school, by installing sidewalks on narrow streets, according to Taylor.
One of the problems with the project was that when Fisher went around to neighborhoods to get an idea of what people thought of getting a new sidewalk, many people had specific requests of what they would like to see done, Taylor said. If they listened to every request, the project would be well over its budget, so appropriate cuts had to be made to accommodate a feasible budget.
Fisher Associates referred all questions to the village.
The federal grant of $398,694 will provide up to 80 percent of the cost of the sidewalk construction, while the rest of the project funding must come from the village, which has yet to be determine where that money will come from.
Dryden’s project was one of 68 bicycle, pedestrian and multi-use path initiatives selected by the Highway Administration out of 135 applications, according to an announcement by Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office in October 2014.
Once the plans are approved, Fisher will be in charge of putting together bid documents and hiring contractors for the job, said Taylor. Construction is expected to begin July 2017 and be completed by October 2017.
Pam Tingley, of Dryden who lives on Union Street, said in a phone interview Monday she thinks it is fantastic the village plans to put more sidewalks on the streets. There are a lot of people in Dryden who like to walk, she said, so it will be great to have a safer place for the locals to walk.