DOT wants answer from Tupper Lake on roadwork soon

TUPPER LAKE – The state Department of Transportation wants an answer from the village by the end of the month on whether it will spend a few million dollars on roadwork.

After years of floating the option of realigning the Park and Mill street intersection in the village, the DOT in November decided to instead overhaul the existing streets. Since the roadwork will detour traffic down Lake Street, a village street, the state would resurface the road after its work is done and the detour is removed, leaving Lake Street in the same or slightly better condition than it is now.

The water and sewer infrastructure under Lake Street is some of the oldest in the village, and the state has given the village the option of replacing that infrastructure while the road is torn up. The village could either pay the state to have the same crews work on it, or it could get an independent contractor to do the work alongside the state, village Mayor Paul Maroun told the Enterprise Wednesday.

Maroun said that if the whole thing is done right, the project is estimated to cost the village about $2.25 million.

Village officials met Friday with DOT representatives.

“They gave us some ideas, and we’re going to have to decide in the next few weeks what we want to do,” Maroun said.

Maroun said the DOT wants an answer by the end of the month, but he expects it to take a little longer than that. He thinks village board members should hire consultants to help them make the decision, which will take some time.

Maroun said he thinks the village should take this opportunity to replace the infrastructure. He noted that when the state redid the portion of state Route 30 that goes over the Raquette River, the village installed the water infrastructure to accommodate the anticipated Adirondack Club and Resort project planned for the outskirts of town, but not the sewer infrastructure. Now he’s trying to get state money to dig under that road project to install the necessary sewage pipes.

“The time to do it is when there’s no road there,” Maroun said. “We’ve got to think a little ahead in the future, here. The unfortunate thing is sometimes that costs some money.”

The Friday meeting with DOT officials was in executive session. Maroun said the board came in and out of closed session, but the agenda sent out for the meeting said the entire meeting was expected to be closed.

Maroun said it was because the conversation at times dealt with the state taking some properties and rights of way as part of the project. It’s already been documented that the state will likely have to take a sporting goods store at the corner of Wawbeek Avenue and Park Street and the former DiStefano’s liquor store at the corner of Park and Mill streets, but Maroun said he doesn’t want anyone else who might have property taken to hear about it and jack up prices, putting the project out of reach in terms of costs.

Contact Jessica Collier at 891-2600 ext. 26 or