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Franklin Street to get inexpensive face-lift

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    Village officials will be adding new signage to Franklin street to discourage truck traffic and a drain to help reduce standing water.
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    Village officials will be adding new signage to Franklin street to discourage truck traffic and a drain to help reduce standing water.
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    Sarah Trafton/Columbia-Greene Media Village officials will be adding new signage to Franklin street to discourage truck traffic and a drain to help reduce standing water.
June 11, 2019 10:03 pm

CATSKILL — Complaints of truck traffic and poor drainage from steady spring rainfall have prompted village officials to plan some upgrades to Franklin Street.

Truck traffic is prohibited on Franklin Street, which is one way from Bridge Street to William Street, but delivery trucks manage to find their way onto the narrow road, Village President Vincent Seeley said Tuesday.

“I think they either don’t see the sign or their GPS tells them to take that turn,” Seeley said. “If the truck misses its Main Street location, the GPS routes them through Franklin to get back to Main Street.”

In addition to having parking on one side of the street, there is also pedestrian traffic to the Catskill Public Library, as well as to private residences, Seeley said.

“I hope that now that the jail is closed, we will have some relief from traffic on that street,” Seeley said, referring to the former county jail on 80 Bridge St., which closed last April.

The sheriff’s office, also on Bridge Street, moved to Coxsackie in February.

To alert drivers, the village will be adding new signs on the street, Seeley said.

“We’re hoping that with additional signage, we can alert trucks misusing that street to go down a different route,” Seeley said.

The project will be relatively inexpensive, costing “a few hundred dollars,” Seeley said.

The village will also be addressing issues with standing water on Franklin Street, Seeley said.

“Water is making its way down from Spring Street and all the way down to Main,” he said.

Village Department of Public Works Superintendent Michael McGrath agreed.

“They call it Spring Street for a reason,” McGrath said. “There is groundwater underneath and it pops up.”

Seeley said he thinks that heavy rainfall this spring is partly to blame for the situation.

National Weather Service stations in Albany and Poughkeepsie have experienced lower-than-average rainfall this year, meteorologist Brian Fugis said Tuesday.

“Since March 1, Albany has had 10.86 inches, which is lower than the normal amount of 11.29 inches,” Fugis said. “In Poughkeepsie we’ve had 10.48 inches, which is also lower than what we’d normally expect.”

The average for Poughkeepsie is 13.38 inches, Fugis said.

“It seems like it’s been a really wet couple of months but I think there’s been a lot of days where we’ve seen a tiny amount of rain,” Fugis said. “There is a high number of days, but the amount of precipitation is running low.”

To address the water running down Franklin Street, DPW crews will be putting in a drain at the corner of Franklin and William Street, McGrath said.

“We will tie it into the storm line under William Street to give the water a place to go,” he said.

The water mains on Franklin and William were replaced in 2010 and 2014, McGrath said, which makes them new compared to other areas of the 120-year-old water system.

McGrath said he hopes to get started on the repairs this week, weather permitting.