YORKTOWN, N.Y. – A home improvement retailer that was expected to deliver the goods in time for Christmas will be a no-show—at least until March 1.
But that most recent prediction of when Lowe’s will open its second facility in Westchester County took a back seat at the Town Board’s work session on Tuesday, Nov. 27, to more pressing concerns: specifically, the condition of Route 202 (Crompond Road), which the Lowe’s site fronts, as the holiday season is hitting its stride.
During a report on the progress of construction of the 120,654-square-foot retail center on 26 acres at the intersection of Route 202 and the Taconic State Parkway, Town Supervisor Ilan Gilbert read a memo issued by Police Chief Robert Noble calling for completion of work on the affected road “as soon as possible.”
“Eastbound traffic on 202 at peak times is becoming troublesome” at its intersections with the entrance to northbound Taconic State Parkway and at Strang Boulevard, Noble wrote. “With holiday traffic now here, this roadwork has to be completed as soon as possible. If this cannot be mitigated safely in an expedited manner, I will need to contact the New York State Department of Transportation and request a traffic safety meeting for the Route 202-Lowe’s corridor.”
Gilbert said the board was in “full agreement with the chief that we want this done ASAP, we want this done in a manner that is safe, and we have potential issues, while this is being done, with the flagging and the operating of the trucks and the traffic.”
“We don’t want our constituents lining up because it’s more expeditious for them (the contractor) to bring out a truck and then us have 100 people backed up on Route 202,” Gilbert said. “We want whoever’s doing the flagging to understanding the needs of our constituents as much as the desire to get traffic in and out of the site.”
“The traffic control is pretty bad, to put it mildly,” Councilman Tom Diana agreed.
Gary Proft, the onsite representative of KJM Construction Management of White Plains, which was hired to oversee the construction of the sanitary sewer, storm sewer and water main systems, told the board that although paving of 202 between Strang and Old Crompond Road was expected to begin that week, “There’s been a few hitches due to the amount of rain; we’ve lost some time to get to this point.”
Proft said representatives of the DOT earlier that day shot down the idea of paving 202-35 at this time because it is so late in the year and asphalt supply companies would soon be closing.
“Their mandate [is] it has to be 40 degrees and rising for us to do paving,” Proft said. “They seem pretty bent on sticking to that. Maybe we can get some relief on it.”
Proft added that the DOT was “not very receptive” to an alternate plan to lay two layers of base and a thicker binder on the road as a temporary measure.
Ken Modico, a principal of KJM, said the board might schedule ”a meeting with all the entities [to determine] how we can get this done,” to which Gilbert replied, “That’s a great suggestion.”
Ann Kutter of Old Crompond Road said she hoped one of its residents would be able to attend, as well.
“Nobody wants to see this project finished more than we do,” Kutter told the board. “We’re living right now in a sea of mud.”
Proft had explained that as part of the project, 2,300 feet of new sanitary piping was being installed along Old Crompond.
“We are 85 percent compete with that now,” Proft said. “We probably would have been finished by now, but we’ve run into a substantial amount of rock as we’re doing excavation down there and where we were getting 80, 100 feet a day of piping dug, installed, backfilled, with blacktop on it, the past couple of weeks we’ve gotten like 20 feet a day, so it’s slowed us down.
“The goal is to get that [Old Crompond] paved this year, although we can’t promise that at this point depending on how much rock we’re going to encounter now,” he said. “If not, then we’ll patch it as we have been doing with temporary asphalt and then the contractor will come back in the spring, probably early April, and we’ll mill and pave that road also.”
In the best-case scenario, Proft said, milling and paving Old Crompond is “only a two-day event.”