The section of approaching New Hempstead Road in New City opened to traffic on Tuesday. The road had been closed after Hurricane Irene further weakened the already deteriorated Little Tor Culvert. The Rockland County Highway Department used the opportunity to reconstruct the culvert all at once instead of a phased approach as originally planned as part of the New Hempstead Road reconstruction.
The road re-opening to two-way traffic around 1 p.m. pleased Highway Superintendent Charles “Skip” Vezzetti .
“We feel good that’s one obstruction out of the way,” he said. “They got it done nice and fast.”
There is additional work necessary along Little Tor Road but nothing that will affect traffic flow to the same extent as the closure. The retaining walls of the culvert need to be finished and heavy equipment is still evident.
In the meantime, work continues on another big part of the New Hempstead Road reconstruction. New utility lines are being run through the Demarest Kill. In addition to completing those, the footings for the new bridge are expected to be placed soon.
“Hopefully with the next month and a half, we’ll have the bridge open,” said Vezzetti.
“Right now it’s very close to schedule.”
The bridge was supposed to be open by the beginning of October not mid-October as now expected but the hurricane and heavy rains slowed the pace of construction. Traffic has been detoured through parking lots. The reconstruction of New Hempstead Road from North Main Street to the Palisades Interstate Parkway is scheduled for 28 months at a cost of $28.5 million. Work began in June.