Village to begin work on Lake Flower Ave. Nov. 4

SARANAC LAKE – The village plans to start replacing stormwater infrastructure on sections of Lake Flower Avenue early next month.

The project is part of an interim plan crafted in June by the village and the state Department of Transportation to upgrade some of the road’s infrastructure while a major overhaul of the busy thoroughfare, part of state Route 86, remains on DOT’s back burner. The move came amid an outcry from residents and business owners along the road who say it’s in deplorable condition and is unsafe for pedestrians and motorists.

Village Manager John Sweeney said Tuesday that he met last week with DOT officials, who are engineering the short-term fix, and received their final design for the stormwater upgrades.

“We have ordered the pipe, and we’re ordering the concrete storm drains and the grates,” he said. “We know what direction we’re going in now based on their survey work. Our goal is November 4th we’ll be starting out there.”

The section of Lake Flower Avenue in front of the Best Western Mountain Lake Inn will be the first to have its stormwater infrastructure replaced, Sweeney said. He said a storm line that collects water from the Crossfield Avenue area has collapsed near the hotel, where water often pools up in the entrance to its parking lot.

“We’re putting new (stormwater lines) in new locations, we’re rehabbing some, but it’s basically all new pipe,” he said.

Once the work in that area is complete, and depending on the weather, Sweeney said the village will begin work on the stormwater infrastructure along Lake Flower Avenue from Fogarty’s Lake Flower Marina south toward Merrill Street, another area where rain water pools up in and along the road.

The temporary fix also involves replacement of some sections of sidewalk along Lake Flower Avenue, but Sweeney said that work won’t happen until the spring.

“DOT is hoping to put their bid out, I think they said February,” he said. “They’re looking for an early spring construction. We’re trying to make sure they have sections they can go after.”

After the stormwater drainage and sidewalk work is done, Sweeney said DOT plans to repave the road in September or October of 2014. He said the village’s share of the cost for the temporary fix will be about $40,000.

During the June meeting, DOT officials admitted that some of the new sidewalks and drainage put in as part of this interim solution could ultimately be ripped out when the state gets around to rebuilding the road. A major rebuild of a 1.1-mile stretch of the road has been talked about for at least 15 years, but it hasn’t moved past the preliminary design stage and continues to be pushed back by DOT. The estimated $9.1 million project is not on the state’s calendar for construction until the fall of 2020.

Contact Chris Knight at 891-2600 ext. 24 or