Granville Wins $56K for sidewalks

A popular walking route in Granville is getting more “sidewalk.”

The “Make the Connection Program” by the Glens Falls Transportation Council informed the town and village their joint application succeeded in bringing $56,300 in federal grant monies toward the Quaker Street sidewalk project.

The project is slated to bring more than 2,200 feet of sidewalk to the east side of Quaker Street from the end of the existing sidewalk at Granville Jr./Sr. High School south to the entrance to the Rite Aid at the corner of the Price Chopper Plaza.

The project will put a sidewalk on one side of the road.

The plan is to build a 5-foot-wide walk that would allow two people to walk side-by-side, rather than in line with the second person trailing behind, officials said.

Town Supervisor Matt Hicks and Mayor Jay Niles announced on Jan. 27 they had just been informed Granville’s joint application for sidewalk funding had been approved and were meeting to coordinate moving forward.

Both men said they were enthused about the project and pleased to receive the grant.

“I think this shows what the town and village always do together. We did Church Street sidewalk (years ago) and like that this is a joint project that will benefit the whole community,” Niles said.

Under the recently approved plan created by Elan Planning new sidewalks as well as a bike path could be added to Quaker Street.

“I’m excited that this is happening because I think it’s a valuable thing for the community. … Any time of the year you see people walking down through there, especially in the summer, and now they have the opportunity to be off the street it’ll be a lot more safe,” Hicks said.

This project can fill a need illustrated by the Stillwater woman who was injured walking too close to the road because of snowbanks in Stillwater.

“That’s a good extension because there’s really no sidewalk from the bank on down,” Niles said. “And the seniors have been really asking for this because of the dangers of walking in the road. We’re trying to do that before we do anything else on Quaker.” 

Pushing the project over the top to approval were two features — when only $200,000 in total grant funding was available – the joint town-village nature of the project and the fact this would be a new sidewalk and not a replacement.

Currently the only space for walking along either side of Quaker Street at the town/village line is outside of the solid white line on a narrow strip of the road’s shoulder and area that shrinks as snowbanks grow. 

Like most grants, this one requires a local match, they said, in this case $120,140. Between the highway and department of public works crews, Hicks and Niles said, coming up with the matching funds should not prove to be a problem.

“The matches are not that hard to do,” Niles said.

Hicks said every machine and man, from either maintenance crew, has a value placed on them and much like the Rail Trail work time equals matching funds money.

“They have a print out of what each one costs per hour,” Niles said.

Niles said the joint application effort, resulting in the application submitted late last year, came out of the discussions of Quaker Street during revitalization discussion of the Mettowee Riverfront Revitalization Strategy by Elan Planning and Development.

The town and village meet early next month with state department of transportation officials in Glens Falls to find out what requirement they must meet when constructing the sidewalks.

Following the meeting, initial survey work can begin. Built ready to have lights hooked up, officials can put up as many or as few lights as they can afford

“We’ll have the wiring and the bases put in ahead of time so there’s no need to go back and do it again,” Niles said.

When the project is complete, Niles said, it should serve as a great example when seeking other grant funding for additional work on Quaker Street.

Although construction is expected to start and possibly finish this year, village DPW supervisor Dan Williams said a schedule for the project had not been determined.

“We won’t have a good time frame on that until after we meet with the DOT next month,” Hicks said.

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