Ryan Van Ostrand, Sandy Kenyo and Andrea Johnson sat Tuesday outside a house on Cleveland Street, Cortland, chatting. A few yards away, the street was blocked at its entrance to Pomeroy Street. They didn’t mind.
“DDS is pretty quick,” said Van Ostrand, of Cortland. “They open it at night.”
“They stop work at night,” Kenyo added, and Cleveland Street has another entrance to the east, at River Street, where she gestured. “We’re lucky. Yesterday, they had all the driveways blocked off.”
DDS, a sub-contractor for New York State Electric & Gas Corp., has been in the area working on a gas project. The idea is to get that project and any other utility projects done in the area before the city begins stormwater system work as part of the Clinton Avenue project, said Nic Dovi, the maintenance supervisor for Buildings and Grounds in the city of Cortland.
“Basically, if they have work in the area, we want it done prior to our project,” he said Tuesday.
The project is being done in three phases, costing almost $14 million. Cook said he got funding from several agencies and programs: Community Development Block Grant, the Environmental Facility Corp., state Department of Environmental Conservation, the federal Environmental Protection Agency — which specifically funds water projects — and the state Department of State.
The project, which is seven years in the making, is meant to improve the first impression people get of Cortland when they get off Interstate 81 at Exit 11 while replacing the century-old subsurface infrastructure — water and sewer lines:
Phase 1 is from the interstate Exit 11 to Pomeroy and River streets. It will include road striping and adding crosswalks and is estimated to cost less than $700,000, Dovi said.
Phase 2 is the water main replacement on Clinton Avenue.
Phase 3, which counts for most of the rest of the cost, will include sewer and stormwater drain replacement, sidewalk improvements and paving.
Even with the city dealing with the coronavirus pandemic the project is still on track. Mack Cook, the director of administration and finance, said in 10 days to two weeks the city will go out to bid for the stormwater portion of the project.
Dovi said he hopes to begin that portion of the project in the later summer or early fall.
If everything stays on track, that portion of the project will get started in the tail end of the construction season this year and be finished up in the 2021 construction season.
“That is being really aggressive,” Dovi said.