The Orangetown Council approved the final pieces necessary to build sidewalks along Route 340 from Route 303 to Venture Living Center last week.
The town will be reimbursed for all costs of the 3,960 linear feet of sidewalk by the Federal Highway Administration and New York State Department of Transportation. The NYSDOT approval was one of the issues that held up the approval until this month.
The town also had to acquire the rights to build the sidewalks on local properties. Seven were purchased from individual owners, such as St. Thomas Aquinas College and Venture Living Center, donated the rights. Rockland County Sewer District No. 1 was not allowed to give away the rights due to state law.
Orangetown Supervisor thanked the Orangetown Highway Department for its work in getting the project to this point.
"This is a very important piece of infrastructure," Orangetown Supervisor Andy Stewart said. "It's just fabulous. Thank you so much for pursing that."
Esta Baitler, who lives in the Kathy Lukens Residence at Camp Venture, has been pushing for the project for years and spoke at last Tuesday's town board meeting.
"I'm here to thank the Orangetown Highway Department and Jim Dean for helping us to get a second set of sidewalks on Route 340 in Sparkill," Baitler said. "I want to thank the town board for making this a reality."
The new sidewalk will connect with the existing sidewalk built in 2004 on Route 340 and it will serve to connect the Venture Living Center, Thorpe Village and St. Thomas Aquinas College with the Sparkill Business and Transportation Center. The project will also include concrete curbs and an underground drainage system. Though the approvals are in place now, construction may not begin until next spring.