Clarkstown Highway Superintendent Wayne Ballard told the town board Tuesday night a new crosswalk connecting the Highview Elementary School in Nanuet with the Highview Community Playground plus replacement sidewalks could cost up to $166,000. Ballard said the school requested the new crosswalk and justified it. If the town board approves the request a temporary sidewalk could be in place by month’s end.
The proposed crosswalk is different from most. It would be located mid block, approximately 130 feet south of the Highview Avenue and Church Street intersection. It would be situated so children could cross Highview Avenue in the front of the school and go directly into the playground during recess and avoid the busy intersection. The uncommon location for the crosswalk necessitates additional traffic signage for safety.
“You need flashing beacons to warn drivers that something unusual is happening in the middle of the block,” said Ballard.
Ballard said an outside firm would design the crosswalk to protect the town from any liability issues. The crosswalk has to be ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act) compliant including the construction of bump outs for wheelchairs. Electricity would be needed to operate the beacons.
Ballard said the concrete sidewalk in front of the elementary school should also be replaced and brought up to current standards. He said the same should be done with Church Street sidewalk that borders the Highview Community Playground and runs between Highview Avenue and South Middletown Road.
“It’s a whole domino effect,” he said of the expanded project proposal.
Ballard, who made the presentation at the town board’s workshop, said the board members were receptive and he expects the project to be on the agenda for the next board meeting on Tuesday, March 20 at 8 p.m. If it gains approval, some work starts immediately.
“We will put in a temporary crosswalk which is paint and signs so the kids can use it,” Ballard said, adding that the goal would be to mark it before the end of March. He anticipates all work on the crosswalk and sidewalks would be completed by June 30.
He provided a breakdown of the $166,000 total.
- Design cost of $24,000 for survey, working engineering design, public meetings if necessary, infield construction support and miscellaneous expenses.
- Construction cost of $90,000, which includes the crosswalk and removal of the concrete Highview sidewalk and installation of new one.
- Sidewalk replacement of $40,000 to remove the blacktop sidewalk alongside the playground and replace it with a concrete sidewalk from Highview Avenue to South Middletown Road.
- Utility service of $7,000 for playground water and electric. Ballard said providing utility service might not be needed because school district officials are not sure they want to provide water at playground. The nearby Adopt-A-Spot may have solar power capability, which would light the playground at night.
- Other consulting costs of $5,000 were incurred.
Nanuet community members banded together and raised funds for the playground and constructed it in October 2011.
At Monday night's Nanuet Elementary PTA meeting, Highview Elementary Principal Barbara Auriemma gave the parents an update on the use of the Highview Playground during recess.
"I was outside talking to an O&R person the other day who was marking the gas lines in front of the building. Today (Monday), I actually see lines (drawn) in the street so I think the town has come in so hopefully that crosswalk will become a reality soon,” she said. “As I’ve said to the children, as soon as the town puts in that crosswalk and we get that blacktop done—which the district said they’d do it in May—we will have rotations of recess out in the playground.”