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South Park Avenue project in Blasdell is expanded

Reconstruction of South Park Avenue in Blasdell north of Milestrip Road will include more work than originally expected, as the state Department of Transportation has agreed to do work from sidewalk to sidewalk.

“They’re going to do quite a bit more than what they were originally going to do,” Mayor Michael R. Petrie said during Wednesday’s meeting of the Village Board.

Bids had originally been accepted for a 46-foot-wide project, but the project, which Petrie said he expects to begin around September, will now be 60 feet wide. When the work is finished, South Park Avenue will remain a two-lane highway. Earlier this spring, the DOT completed a reconstruction of South Park south of Milestrip that changed it to a three-lane highway.

The additional work will include planting grass from the sidewalk to the white lines in some spots. Petrie said that defined parking spots will be placed in some locations where there is no greenspace.

Also, the mayor said the DOT has agreed to place a crosswalk at Allen Street and South Park. Petrie noted that he will be working with DOT officials to help design crosswalks that are clearly marked.

In June, Petrie said he had been having discussions with the DOT in an effort to improve safety in the village. He added that he should have a better estimate of how much time the project with require after his next meeting with the DOT, but that if it is similar to the other South Park reconstruction project, it should take about a month.

In other matters, Village Administrator Janet L. Plarr said Blasdell was recently given an A2 rating by Moody’s, which will allow the municipality to borrow $2.9 million in bonds to pay for projects completed in the village in recent years.

Plarr said Moody’s was pleased with the liquidity and fiscal management of the village. She credited the leadership of Petrie, noting that it was not that way before he became mayor.

“We had some financial strife,” Plarr said, but the village now is working with an operating surplus of $1.4 million. Plarr said Moody’s also looked at current debt, pension costs and past employment benefits during the process to determine the village’s rating.