Town of Marbletown - New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) Acting Commissioner Stan Gee and Congressman Maurice Hinchey announced construction has begun on a $2.5 million project to construct new sidewalks along State Route 209 in the Town of Marbletown, Hamlet of Stone Ridge, Ulster County. The project, which is expected to create or maintain 60 jobs, is funded through the federal American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (ARRA).
“From using area bluestones to construct the sidewalks, to securing a local contractor to perform the work, this sidewalk restoration project exemplifies the main goal of the economic recovery program by creating jobs in this community,” Acting Commissioner Gee said. “Governor David Paterson has made a priority of quickly funding economic recovery projects such as these pedestrian safety enhancements and other important transportation projects across New York State.”
Acting Commissioner Gee and Congressman Hinchey were joined this morning by Ulster County Executive Michael Hein’s representative Vincent Martello, Ulster County Legislature Chairman David Donaldson, Marbletown Supervisor Brooke Pickering-Cole, Citizen Advisory Committee President Evry (Robert) Mann, Kingston Equipment Rental President Rudie Baker and NYSDOT Regional Director Joan Dupont at the Marbletown Hardware store to break ground on the sidewalk restoration project.
U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer said, “This sidewalk project will improve the quality of life for Ulster County residents by improving pedestrian access, expanding safety and enhancing the landscape of this already beautiful, historical location. This is the best way to put our federal dollars to work for our local economy because it will modernize infrastructure, create jobs and promote economic development across the region. I am glad that I was able to help secure this Economic Recovery funding for this much-needed project.”
U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand said, “This is the right investment for the Hudson Valley. These federal dollars will help create new good-paying jobs, upgrade infrastructure and help rebuild our economy. I will continue working with Governor Paterson, Senator Schumer and the entire Congressional Delegation to make sure New York gets its fair share from the federal government.”
"I'm very pleased that these federal economic recovery funds are being used to both beautify the streets of Stone Ridge with restored bluestone as well as to enhance pedestrian safety," Congressman Maurice Hinchey said. "This money is putting people to work as we intended with the economic recovery bill and it is improving the quality of life for residents and visitors. It's great to see that the economic recovery bill we passed in Washington is having a positive impact on communities like Marbletown in upstate New York."
State Senator John Bonacic said, “Stone Ridge is one of the great communities that makes the Hudson Valley such a vibrant place for history and the arts. The new sidewalks will welcome residents and visitors alike to local shops and create a greater sense of community.”
Assemblyman Kevin Cahill said, “The Hudson Valley has a proud culture of melding beautification and functionality throughout its public works projects. I commend the New York State Department of Transportation, the Hamlet of Stone Ridge and the Town of Marbletown for their commitment to providing citizens with the opportunity to explore and enjoy this flourishing area of Ulster County.”
Ulster County Executive Michael Hein said, “The Stone Ridge sidewalk project has been in process since 2003 and I’m delighted that construction work is actually beginning. This project represents an outstanding collaborative effort between community members, business people, NYSDOT and Town and County governments. I would also like to recognize Governor Paterson and Congressman Maurice Hinchey for their efforts in securing stimulus funding for this project. Stone Ridge is one of the most beautiful hamlets in our County and the Town of Marbletown has made great progress in preserving its historic character. The bluestone sidewalks that are planned for this project will not only compliment Stone Ridge’s historic setting, they will also create a pedestrian friendly and business friendly community amenity that everyone can be proud of.”
Town of Marbletown Supervisor Brooke Pickering-Cole said, “The Town is delighted that the Stone Ridge sidewalk project has been funded and is finally becoming a reality. We are looking forward to a more walkable hamlet, and we’re particularly pleased about the use of bluestone to complement the fine historic homes which define the character of the neighborhood. A great deal of thanks goes the volunteer committee that worked with DOT during the design phase; we are quite fortunate to have such an active group of local residents.”
Rudie Baker, president of Kingston Equipment rental added, “Kingston Equipment/Baker Brothers Excavating from West Hurley is excited to be part of this stimulus-funded beautification project. Being a local contractor, our employees will be driving through this lovely hamlet, appreciating the hard work that they performed, for years to come. We look forward to a smooth running project and are excited to get started.”
Work will include restoring more than 3,500 feet of historic bluestone sidewalks in the hamlet. The majority of new sidewalk will run along the west side of Route 209 from the Marbletown Town Hall north to the Marbletown Community Center. A shorter section of new bluestone sidewalk will run along the east side of Route 209 at its intersection with Route 213 in the heart of the hamlet, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The sidewalk project was developed in cooperation with a community-based Citizen Advisory Committee (CAC) comprised of local residents, business owners and elected officials. The CAC worked with NYSDOT staff over a two-year period to determine how best to restore the sidewalk system, while still preserving the historic characteristics of the hamlet.
CAC President Evry (Robert) Mann said, “This was a community effort with an intensive discussion of all the possibilities by a committed group of citizens over several months of planning. We received wonderful support from Regional Director Dupont and her team and I feel that we arrived at a consensus that will well serve the citizens of Marbletown. I believe the sidewalks with have a transformative effect on our hamlet.”
In addition to sidewalks, the project will install a new traffic signal with pedestrian signal poles and improved pedestrian crosswalks at the intersection of Route 209 and Route 213; repave nearly one mile of Route 209; and install improved drainage, landscaping and pavement markings. The contract was awarded to Kingston Equipment Rental Inc. of West Hurley, Ulster County, and construction is expected to be completed in the summer of 2010.