DELMAR — The Bethlehem Town Board will take a few more steps closer towards its planned road diet for Delaware Avenue after tonight’s meeting, Wednesday, April 14.
The town has secured state and federal funding for the $5.2 million Delaware Avenue Complete Streets, for which the town will spend $728,000. The project was born from a feasibility study conducted in 2017, which outlined goals to improve pedestrian safety and confront speeding issues.
Proponents laud the road diet as a means of converting the 1.3-mile stretch of roadway between Elsmere Avenue and the Albany City Line as a pedestrian-friendly community street. Opponents, including business owners dependent on that traffic, are concerned motorists will be deterred from visiting their storefronts.
The town has yet to decide how to reline the highway. One option is to convert the existing four-lane road to two, opposing traffic lanes with a middle two-way left-turn lane. Another is to continue allowing two lanes for inbound traffic from Albany while reducing outbound traffic to one. There is a third option — leave the roadways as is.
Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, construction was anticipated to start in 2021 and conclude next year. No delays have been expressed thus far.
Tonight, board members are anticipated to establish the town board as the lead agency on the project. The board is also expected to allow the town’s public works department to begin financing the project, including the approval of a bond resolution.
The engineering design services of CHA Companies, an architectural engineering company based in Albany, is expected to be purchased for $556,000.
The public can provide comments during the public comment section by registering to attend the meeting via Zoom. https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_hJmlkRTwQnKhwgZSml5BaA
The Zoom meeting starts at 5:30 pm. and the meeting starts streaming at 6 pm.
The public may also submit comments directly to the Board members anytime via email to [email protected]