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Cummings Road may be closed 6 months

Cummings Road is seen in a design sketch for a new parking garage proposed to be built behind the Lake Placid Olympic Center, seen at right. (Provided photo — Olympic Regional Development Authority)

LAKE PLACID — Part of a popular local thoroughfare may be closed for six months as the state Olympic Regional Development Authority works on improvements to the Lake Placid Olympic Center.

A portion of Cummings Road is expected to be reduced to one lane from May to June, Mayor Craig Randall said at the village board meeting last week. That part of the road may then be closed entirely from June to late November or early December.

It’s unclear how much of the road will be closed or whether the teachers and staff of the Lake Placid Middle-High School will still be able to access the district’s parking lot on Cummings Road. According to ORDA bidding documents, the authority is looking to “implement (a) traffic control program” by May 11 and close the road to public traffic on June 9. ORDA spokesman Jon Lundin said the authority is still in the planning phase and that it’s “still too early to discuss the potential impact that this will have on Cummings Road.”

While the road is closed, a contractor working on behalf of ORDA will work on a “spectator tunnel” that will run beneath Cummings Road, connecting the ice rink complex to the Olympic Speedskating Oval.

ORDA posted a request for proposals on the state-run New York State Contract Reporter website on Jan. 14. Bids were due back Monday morning, but the contract won’t be awarded until March, according to the RFP.

In its request, ORDA asked that the chosen contractor construct “approximately 2,100 square feet of concrete underground tunnel that will integrate into a new section of an approximately 28 foot high, 200 foot long retaining wall.” A portion of that retaining wall would be demolished and replaced.

This piece of a projected $100 million Olympic Center overhaul is expected to be completed by Dec. 21, according to the RFP.

The Olympic Center project has been split into several parts, all of which ORDA CEO Michael Pratt has said the authority is looking to complete by late summer or early fall of 2022. The other phases may include the construction of a parking garage on a piece of land currently used by teachers and staff of the Lake Placid Middle-High School for parking, an outdoor deck overlooking Main Street, space for a sports bar and restaurant, full replacement of the oval and installation of new refrigeration units, facade and ingress-egress improvements, expansion of the Lake Placid Olympic Museum and improvements to the 1932 and 1980 arenas as well as the USA Rink.

Last month, Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed $147 million in new capital funding for ORDA as part of his Executive Budget. Most of that, $134.5 million, would be earmarked for “a strategic upgrade and modernization plan to support improvements to the Olympic facilities and ski resorts.” It’s unclear how much would go toward the Olympic Center upgrades.

New York’s Senate, Assembly and governor are supposed to come up with a final 2020-21 state budget by April 1. The state gave ORDA more than $80 million to upgrade winter sports venues in 2019-20 and $60 million the year before.

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