GREENPORT — Last October, the new roundabout near the entrance of the Rip Van Winkle Bridge was opened, and now, less than one year later, the blacktop is being dug up and replaced.
The good news is that it won’t cost taxpayers a dime.
Greenport Town Supervisor Kathy Eldridge said she had concerns that the road needed to be redone so soon after the initial project was completed.
“I was concerned that there were problems and that this work needed to be done,” Eldridge said.
The roundabout, at the intersection of Routes 9G and 23, came with a price tag of $4.5 million and took two months to complete in 2018. In addition to the roundabout itself, the project also included creating travel lanes, a 25-space parking area at the east side of the intersection, and sidewalks leading from the northern entrance to the Olana State Historic Site, over the bridge, and to the Thomas Cole National Historic Site.
It was part of a larger $14.6 million Skywalk project connecting the two historic sites.
Now, the blacktop on the roundabout has been removed, leaving a milled surface for the time being. Work is expected to be completed in the overnight hours over the next few days.
Spokesman Joseph Morrissey from the state Department of Transportation said the project was completed to the specifics laid out in the original construction plans.
“The project that included the roundabout was constructed last year on time and under budget,” Morrissey said. “Asphalt pavement was placed in accordance with contract specifications. The schedule was clearly outlined in pre-bid documents and was not accelerated. Portions of the project need to be repaved this week to correct some imperfections.”
The repairs, he added, would not cost the taxpayers anything.
“This is being done at the contractor’s expense,” Morrissey said.
Eldridge said she was notified by the state that the work would be needed.
“I was made aware construction would be done,” Eldridge said. “There were some problems with the blacktopping that needed to be reseamed, and it needed to be blacktopped again.”
Construction began Monday, and Eldridge said it was supposed to be completed within a week. No construction is expected during the daytime.
“They were going to do the major work during the nighttime, but I am thinking they will probably need to do work during the day, too,” Eldridge said.
Eldridge said she hoped the roundabout would be widened, but that there were no plans to do so.
When work is being done overnight, Eldridge said traffic would be rerouted.
“They said they would do it as quickly as possible with as few problems for commuters as possible,” she noted. “I hope New York state DOT and the state make this as smooth a transition for the commuters as possible.”