McDonald’s eyes Joslen construction route

The plan by engineering firm CHA shows where the trucks would go with the proposed route. The red arrows show the construction entrances and the blue arrows show the construction exits. Contributed photo

GREENPORT — Representatives for the McDonald’s and Aldi building project are seeking construction vehicle access on a nearby residential road.

The proposal involves construction trucks driving onto Joslen Boulevard to get to and from the 161 Fairview Ave., site, but planning board members said residents were assured the construction vehicles would not go on their road.

Engineer Tony Stellato from CHA, an engineering firm based in Albany, presented the proposal to the board this week. Stellato said that during off-peak traffic times, when conditions allow, vehicles would continue to enter the site using the existing Route 9 construction entrance. Whenever traffic does not permit entry from Route 9, vehicles would enter the site from Joslen Boulevard. But all construction vehicles, regardless of the entrance they use, would exit onto Joslen Boulevard under the proposal.

A contractor with the project said there could be 10 to 20 trucks coming to the site some days. He said the traffic on Fairview Avenue by McDonald’s poses a safety issue and trucks entering Route 9 from Joslen is a safer part of the road.

The proposal would serve as an amendment to the site application the board approved in August 2019 to build new McDonald’s and Aldi buildings adjacent to the current McDonald’s building at 149 Fairview Ave., which will be demolished and replaced with two retail spaces as part of the construction project.

Trinity Reality Group submitted a site plan proposal to the town on Feb. 27, 2018, and the project had been in front of the board since the spring of 2017. Representatives for the project did not appear to board meetings multiple times throughout the application process, asking to postpone to the following month, which is reflected in board meeting minutes.

Construction began at the site earlier this year.

Board members said this week that they were told by the applicant since the beginning of the approval process that construction vehicles would use the McDonald’s entrance. The contractor responded that he doesn’t know how the vehicles would do that.

Board Chairman Edward Stiffler said the resolution for the project approval was very clear that there would be no construction vehicles on Joslen and the residential streets.

Meredith Poole of TRG said she had corresponded with the state Department of Transportation by e-mail, and the department supported the temporary Joslen access. The board said the department told them the opposite about the route.

Poole said the construction vehicles can use the McDonald’s entrance once the fast-food establishment is fully closed, but the business will not be closed until the third week of September. She said McDonald’s will close for about six weeks during construction.

In March, Kevin Parisi, another representative from TRG, said the fast-food business would not close at all during construction and would move into the new building before the old structure is demolished.

Poole this week said construction is backed up by material shortages and that roofing is 10 weeks out, but the hope is for the buildings to be constructed this year.

Stiffler and other board members emphasized that Joslen Boulevard residents who attended the public hearing for the project had been assured the construction vehicles would not go on their road, so the board decided to schedule a public hearing for Aug. 24 to give residents an opportunity to speak.

The board gave the developers the opportunity to pay for a special meeting for the hearing, which Poole declined.

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