Posted by: Dawn Powell | December 20, 2009

Peekskill Hollow Road

Peekskill Hollow Road – update

I’ve been down this road before.

What Has Happened

They have changed their language.  Since everyone is in favor of road maintenance, bridge maintenance, drainage improvements and a safe entrance at the high school, that is what they talk about now. Nobody explains quite what that means. 

The resolution – the county says they won’t do anything about Phases II and III of the project.  Everyone knows that the resolution does not change anything. A future legislature could reverse the resolution.  It was a good will gesture and should be taken as such. There has been lots of talk about scenic and historic designation.  The Friends of Peekskill Hollow Road do not feel that scenic designation offers protection, and therefore, want historic designation.  Additionally, they would like the Town to pass its own law, along the lines of other Town laws protecting roadways, most notably that of North Salem.  A Town resolution, sent to the county, as well as a local law, designating the road as historic, would be a good start.  A county law protecting the road would help.

And while we are on the subject of what has happened, what is the trench next to the repair shop at Oregon Corners, who is doing the work, and do they have a wetlands permit?

What Has Not Happened

The current project is approved.  Nothing has altered that.  The funds for the “takings” of private property are not forthcoming.  That is what is protecting us.

Why hasn’t the faulty SEQRA (State Environmental Quality Review Act) negative  declaration of environmental significance been rescinded?  For a fuller explanation of this, see Bill Zutt’s comments at the May Town Board meeting.  The DVD is available at the library.

For a Supervisor angry,  molten meltdown, see the May work session.  I was in attendance at that meeting, and it was worse in person.


 North County News article, Volume 43, Number 06, issue 2/11/09.

PCNR article – 11/23/05

Renovation of Peekskill Hollow Road Discussed at Information Meeting
by Edward Paul Greiff

On Monday evening November 14, 2005 residents of Putnam Valley, Putnam County Highway Superintendent Harold Gary, New York State DOT engineers and guests gathered at Putnam Valley High School to listen to an update on the proposed renovation of Peekskill Hollow Road.

The County and State representatives, in their revised plan were trying to be as accommodating as they could towards the requests made by Putnam Valley residents.

The plans call for removing the entire blacktop road surface between Adams Corners and Oregon Corners and rebuilding the road from the base upwards, but not outwards. A six-inch base of crushed gravel would be laid down according to the new DOT highway specifications. On top of this would be placed layers of paved blacktop. At the suggestion of Putnam Valley Supervisor-Elect Sam Davis, the DOT will examine his suggestion of using a porous paving material rather than the traditional impervious black top. Davis’ suggested material would allow for water to be absorbed directly through the road surface, rather than run off and into drainage systems. The water then could go to recharging the aquifer underground instead of being channeled through drains. The DOT will examine the cost/benefit issue of the material.

The DOT will try and use this same concept for the shoulders of the road and for the proposed sidewalks around Oregon Corners.

The bridge at Oregon Corners and another on Peekskill Hollow Road will be replaced since they are fifty years old and have reached their life expectancy.

In order to accommodate left and right turning lanes at Oregon Corners and parking, the “Hertzel Garage” needs to be removed. Legislator Sam Oliverio said the State does not want to take the property through eminent domain but instead are offering Mr. Hertzel three appraisals done by independent appraisers, one of which is of his choosing. Mr. Hertzel can select whichever one he wants. A traffic light is planned for controlling the traffic into and out of the High School. Peekskill Hollow Road will be extended into the High School property and the opposite side will remain the same.

Another suggestion made by Mr. Davis is rather than have four foot paved shoulders on each side of the road, have two feet of a paved porous surface and two feet of grass. This would retain the rural country appearance of the road he said.

Town Councilwoman-elect Wendy Whetsel said that when she thinks of country roads she thinks of winding and hilly roads, that’s part of their mystique and charm. Sam Davis suggested that instead of widening or straightening a road, they should lower the speed limit, put truck weight restrictions on the road, and enforce those laws.

Majed Annabi said in an e-mail on the subject of Peekskill Hollow Road, “Surprisingly, some of the people at the meeting were more concerned about paving four foot shoulders, which allows a car to pull off the road and allow traffic to proceed. This could also save lives because it would be less likely another car would hit the car trying to pull over.”

Mr. Annabi continued, “I agree with the comments made by our Town Board member Robert Tendy, our County Legislator Sam Oliverio, and our County Highway Superintendent Harold Gary. The safety of our children, our most important and invaluable resource should be our utmost concern. If this project saves the life of one child, mine or yours, don’t you think it is worth sacrificing the paving of presently graveled shoulders or the inconvenience of construction?”

“The part of Peekskill Hollow Road in question is heavily traveled by our school children, school buses, and parents taking their children to school. I personally feel that it is negligent, if not outright criminal to politicize this issue, to suggest that this project is a conspiracy to bring more development into Putnam Valley,” he concluded.

At a separate meeting, Legislator Sam Oliverio said this project is a done deal and he hopes the residents don’t make it impossible to do because the opportunity to pay for it may not come along again. The federal government made the money available and will pay eighty percent of the cost, New York State is picking up fifteen percent of the cost and five percent locally. “The work has to be done and this is the least expensive way of paying for it,” Oliverio said.

Written comments on the project will be accepted at Putnam County Highway Superintendent Gary’s office until December 2, 2005. In the Spring of 2006 costs and plans are to be finalized. The offer for Hertzel Garage should also be completed. The State DOT plans on breaking ground in 2007 with the project anticipated to be completed within a year.


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