Updated 08/06/2012 02:03 PM
Construction begins on South Street in Mechanicville
The main road to and from Mechanicville schools will finally be getting some much needed repair work. Starting Monday, you'll be detoured around South Street in the city and as our Megan Cruz tells us, it's so construction crews can address safety concerns officials have about the road.
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MECHANICVILLE, N.Y. -- "It's going like that, like it's all crooked," said Alexis Senecal, a third grader at Mechanicville Elementary School.
She says she waddles like a penguin when she walks up South Street to school to avoid all the holes and cracks on the hill's sidewalk. Her mom, Barb, says it's been like that since she was in school.
"You kind of had to walk sideways because the sidewalk was crooked," she said.
But starting Monday, work will begin to fix the sidewalk. Barb says for the kids' sake, it's about time.
"When they had to walk to school, they probably had to walk in the road sometimes so I wouldn't really like that," said Barb.
But the sidewalk isn't even the worse of it.
"What we thought was just a sidewalk project, after some doing some borings, we found out underneath the road was this wet clay and that it was a bigger problem than we thought," said Mechanicville Mayor Anthony Sylvester.
He says the weak foundation was causing the road to crumble and that fixing everything would cost $2.5 million. With the help of the New York State Department of Transportation and the Capital District Transportation Committee, the city was able to get the money together in five years.
"We're going to replace the whole road, dig out the clay, put out a new foundation, a new drainage, new walls that will stabilize the road," said Mayor Sylvester.
He says South Street from South 3rd Avenue to Prospect Avenue will be closed till October 30th.
People wonder why repairs didn't start sooner.
"I would think they would start at the beginning of summer so it wouldn't have to go into the school year," said Barb.
Sylvester says they actually planned to start the end of June, but that it's been an uphill battle to complete paperwork with the New York State Department of Transportation and the Department of Environmental Conservation.
"It's going to be 10 minutes to go around. To get to the school, get to Central Avenue up over the hill and come back to Route 146," said the mayor.
Alexis says she can't wait for the new road.
"It would be awesome because it'd be easier to walk up," she said.
And more importantly, safer.