Saranac Lake officials to meet with DOT Lake Flower Avenue project to be discussed

SARANAC LAKE – The village Board of Trustees will meet Monday with top state Department of Transportation officials in the region to discuss upgrades to Lake Flower Avenue.

Currently, reconstruction of a 1.1-mile stretch of the road, which is part of state Route 86, is not on the state Department of Transportation’s construction timetable until 2020. Village officials say the project has an estimated cost of $12 million.

The project has been postponed repeatedly by DOT over the last 15 years, but people who live or own businesses on the road have been pushing hard lately to get the project moved up on DOT’s timetable, citing the poor condition of the road and its sidewalks.

“We know $12 million is a big chunk of change, but we can’t wait until 2020 to fix the glaring drainage and sidewalk issues facing us,” village Mayor Clyde Rabideau said in a press release. “So we must work with DOT officials in a very creative way to fix the problems in a manner that lasts for the next seven years at least.”

Rabideau said DOT officials are willing to work creatively to find an interim fix that meets the needs of the village until the multi-million-dollar project can be launched.

“The DOT is well aware of the condition of Lake Flower Avenue and our earnest cry for help,” Rabideau said. “They get it and heard us loud and clear. So the object of the meeting is to find creative solutions and fix the problems as quickly as possible, and I am optimistic.”

Monday’s work session is set for 4:30 p.m. in the village offices on the second floor of the Harrietstown Town Hall, 38 Main St. Rabideau said the delegation of Watertown-based DOT Region 7 officials will include Acting Regional Director Mark Frechette and two senior engineers. State Sen. Betty Little, or a senior member of her staff, has also been invited. Rabideau said the public is welcome to attend and listen to the discussion. Public input can be directed to village Manager John Sweeney before the meeting.

Rabideau thanked Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office, state DOT Commissioner Joan McDonald, Little and Assemblyman Dan Stec for their help.

“They’ve been on board every step of the way, making the calls and advocating Saranac Lake’s position,” he said.