October 21, 2021

Part of Clinton Avenue work to mostly wrap in fall

Colin Spencer/staff reporter

An excavator drops dirt into a truck on Clinton Avenue in Cortland in this June 2021 Cortland Standard file photo. Residents of the street shared concerns over dust and noise caused by the work, part of the city Gateway Project.

Work to replace aging infrastructure and add new features on a stretch of Clinton Avenue will be mostly complete by November, a project engineer told city officials.

Jeremy Glen, the director of transportation for BCA Architects & Engineers, told City Council members Tuesday that Phase 3 of the Cortland Gateway Project, which will enhance the entryway of the city from Interstate 81’s Exit 12 and down Clinton Avenue, will be reopened for the winter.

Phase 3, costing about $9 million, includes replacing old storm and gas lines along with repaving the road, adding bike lanes and new lights, among other improvements.

Glen said work from the intersection of Clinton Avenue, Pomeroy and River streets to the train tracks just east of North Greenbush Street on Clinton Avenue would be about “95% complete” by October or November.

“You will have final asphalt, most of your plantings, striping and final features in place,” he said.

Work will stop around the end of November and the section of road will be reopened, Glen said.

However, work will resume in April.

From April on, work will continue between the train tracks and Main Street, with most of the work completed around August, Glen said.

Other work, including adding new signs, masonry around the intersection of Clinton Avenue, Pomeroy Street and River Street, was completed earlier this year.

Glen, at the request of Councilperson Bruce Tytler, (D-3rd Ward), also spoke about the Cortland entry signs in front of the Mr. Tire Auto Service Center and close to Riverside Plaza. Residents have said the signs are hard to read for drivers.

The font and color of the signs were required by the state Department of Transportation and are meant for pedestrians, not people driving in their cars.

“There’s a lot of other signage in the area and it was their contention that adding some additional wayfinding signage in that area would be confusing to drivers so it was intentionally sized like that,” Glen said.

City officials said in April 2020 the total cost of the project would be almost $25 million though more recent estimates were closer to $10 million to $15 million.

Phase 1, which included new masonry work and crosswalks from the I-81 exit to the intersection of Pomeroy and River streets, and Phase 2, which replaced water mains on Clinton Avenue up to Pomeroy and River streets, have already wrapped.

Cortland Mayor Brian Tobin has said the entry way off Interstate 81 down Clinton Avenue serves an important role in providing first impressions of the city for visitors and residents alike.

“For Cortland, that I-81 corridor is the front door to our community,” he said in May. “We don’t want Cortland to be an interchange. We want Cortland to be distinct.”