Dozens of concerned residents came out to Village Hall Thursday evening, all hoping to find answers as to why the improvement projects on Yonkers Avenue have dragged on seemingly untouched and when the vital roadway will reopen.
After a lengthy explanation of where the project currently stands, along with the U.S Army Corps of Engineers and Contractors' estimation on how much longer the project will take, residents were left with a rough estimate of at least another 8 weeks of work, leaving the earliest possible date for Yonkers Avenue to open up to traffic at best the middle of September.
"What began as a detour has now become a pain in the neck for many," remarked Mayor Steve Ecklond who along with Village Trustee Janette Hayes, echoed the importance of wrapping up this project as soon as possible.
"Yonkers Avenue is a major thoroughfare and is a critical roadway that fire, police and ems require when responding to emergencies," stated Hayes.
Concerned with the stability of the overall site, engineers stopped working on June 14, leaving many residents scratching their heads as to why the work would come to such an abrupt halt, but Project Manager Eric Hirani explained that it was necessary to stop and re-assess the area.
"We don't want to rush this project and then risk the structural integrity of the roadway 5 or 10 years down the road," he explained, "there are concerns right now in regard to the stability of the roadway and more assessments need to be made before work can resume."
These assessments may not be easily observed, but according to the engineers, their team has been out from 6 a.m. to as late as 9 p.m surveying the area and running the analysis necessary to move the project forward.
Still, residents voiced their concerns over the length of time the project has taken up, with one resident stating that, "it took a shorter amount of time for contractors to build the Empire State Building," to which the engineers replied, "that's because it was above ground."
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Aura Mark is a resident at the Apartments and she worries about the efficiency of the work being done.
"I have a perfect view of what is and what isn't being done on Yonkers Ave," she said.
Mayor Ecklond stated that the plan is that once the contractors are done with all of the work below ground, the Village will then be in charge of Yonkers Ave. and one lane of traffic can be opened up as early as a week later.
"We really don't want to see people having to drive to Yonkers to get to Tuckahoe for much longer," stated Ecklond.