The opening of the detour road along New Hempstead Road proceeded smoothly late Wednesday morning. The addition of the detour road between the Rockland County Sheriff’s Office and Highway Department is one of the major components of the reconstruction of New Hempstead Road. Final paving took place Tuesday and by early morning Wednesday the yellow lines were being painted.
Highway Capital Project Manager Joe Pyzowski said with the opening of the detour, work will shift to lower that section of New Hempstead Road and installation of new underground utility lines – water, sanitary, sewer. The road will be lowered about 10 feet and will ease the steep “S” curve.
“Traffic will be on the temporary roadway probably for most of the summer while we excavate and build the final roadway,” he said on Wednesday.
That work will be followed by the installation of streetlights, curbs and sidewalks between North Main Street and Little Tor Road through the summer months. Additionally, the parking areas will be rebuilt near the former county clerk’s building, which was removed to make way for the temporary road, and highway department. A landscaped area will be created in front of the county office building and sidewalks, curbs and two patio-seating areas will be added near the bridge over the Demarest Kill stream.
Elsewhere along the two-mile long project route, crews are building retaining walls and installing drainage pipes along with gas and water lines.
Pyzowski said drivers will soon see work further west on the road.
“We’re going to be pouring a parapet near Phillips Hill Road,” he said.
Work on some of the narrower sections of may slow the flow of traffic but Pyzowski said there will be flagmen to direct vehicles. Although not as extensive as the “S” curve removal, the roadway will be lowered and graded about three feet near the intersection with West Clarkstown Road.
The New Hempstead project is essentially on schedule.
“I think the mild winter he had helped us catch up,” he said. “We were a little behind (schedule).”
He said summer rainstorms including Hurricane Irene impacted the project. The 28-month-long, $28.5 million reconstruction project, which began last spring, encompasses New Hempstead Road from North Main Street in New City to the ramps of the Palisades Interstate Parkway.