October 24, 2021

Groton Avenue work OK’d

Leftover Gateway Project funds to pay for upgrades

Colin Spencer/staff reporter

A truck travels down Groton Avenue in Cortland on Wednesday. Work to replace water lines and surface-level improvements on Groton Avenue between Main Street and Otter Creek Place won’t happen simultaneously as similar work on Clinton Avenue.

The city of Cortland will take on a major construction project on the eastern side of Groton Avenue for infrastructure and street-level improvements, but it won’t coincide with work happening on Clinton Avenue.

The Cortland Common Council voted, 7-0, Tuesday night to enter into a contract worth $995,000 with BCA Architects & Engineers to develop site plans and design work for a $9 million to $10 million total project on Groton Avenue between Otter Creek Place and Main Street.

Leftover grant funding from the $25 million Gateway Project, which is designed to enhance the entry way into the city from Interstate 81’s exit 11 down Clinton Avenue to Main Street, would be used to fund this project, said Michael Altieri, an associate and civil engineer with BCA.

Prior to approval, Altieri told council members the work on Groton Avenue would include:

  • Sewer and water line replacements.
  • New curbing.
  • New pavement.
  • New plantings.
  • New sidewalks.
  • New signal lights.
  • New street lighting where required.

The city is looking to pay for the project completely under a long-term loan from the Environmental Protection Agency, Altieri said.

Applications for the loan are due June 25, Mack Cook, the city director of administration and finance, said Wednesday.

Design work is expected to begin this summer and finish by the fall, Altieri said Wednesday. Construction, if on time, is scheduled to begin in 2023 and be completed by 2025.

Work won’t coincide with the Gateway Project on Clinton Avenue, which is expected to be completed in the spring of 2022, said Nic Dovi, the superintendent for the Cortland Department of Public Works.

The $25 million Gateway Project includes:

  • Water and sewer line replacements.
  • Repaving roads.
  • Adding bike lanes.
  • New lighting.
  • New crosswalks.
  • New masonry and signage.

Clinton Avenue has been closed to through traffic since April as work has commenced.

The work on Groton Avenue, Dovi said, is “almost the same exact project as the current Gateway Project.”

This work is needed as Groton Avenue, like Clinton Avenue, needs new infrastructure lines and pavement, he said.

Dovi said it is too early to tell how traffic on Groton Avenue will be affected.