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Parking lot work may continue this summer

Mayor: Bioretention completion could take one year off Main Street project

The lower municipal lot across from NBT Bank on Main Street is seen here Tuesday, June 8. (Enterprise photo — Elizabeth Izzo)

LAKE PLACID — In his Main Street update to the Lake Placid Business Association on Tuesday, June 8, Mayor Art Devlin revealed a plan that could take one year off the Main Street reconstruction project.

With village Highway Department Superintendent Brad Hathaway standing next to him at the Lake Placid Baptist Church, Devlin announced that officials at Kubricky Construction would like to extend the project past the end of June, just to install bioretention basins. The Main Street work would still wrap up by July 1 before resuming in September, but it would save time in the long run to install the bioretention basin at the lower parking lot across from NBT Bank, then another toward the southern end of Main Street closer to the Conference Center, in July and August. The bioretention (infiltration basin) removes sediment and contaminants from stormwater, including road salt, therefore protecting Mirror Lake.

“If everything keeps going the way that it is and they’re able to work during July and August, there’s a really good chance that within two years’ time, they’ll be really almost completely done,” Devlin said. “So it would basically take a year off this project.”

The Main Street project began in April and, under the current plan, is expected to be compete by the fall of 2023. If the bioretention is finished in July and August, Devlin said there is a possibility that the project could be done by the fall of 2022, barring any weather-related delays or other complications. The proposal still needs to be approved by the village board.

“I realize it would be a little bit of a hardship losing the lower NBT (parking lot) for two weeks, and then parts of the big lot, but I think the end goal of being able to have them out of here a year early is really something to look at,” Devlin said.

The water main down Main Street has already been replaced, and crews are still working on lateral pipes that connect buildings to the water main. Once the bioretention is complete, like at One Main Park, surface lines for stormwater drainage get connected to it. That work would begin in September if the summer work schedule is put into place, according to the mayor.

Retaining wall

Devlin also said Hathaway has an idea to replace the green retaining wall at the NBT parking lot, which is secured with I-beams. Residents have long complained that it’s an eyesore. The idea is to replace the wall with Redi-Rock.

“You can think of it like Legos,” Devlin said.

If approved, the Redi-Rock would be installed before the July 25 Ironman Lake Placid triathlon.

“We don’t have engineering yet. We don’t have final pricing, but the intent is we’ll be getting rid of those steel I-beams,” Devlin said.

The hope is to build a parking garage at the NBT lot, but Devlin suggested that increasing construction costs may make that plan economically infeasible. If the village does put in the garage, the Redi-Rock can be pulled out and used elsewhere, he said.

Construction invasion

For parking at the big Main Street lot, the mayor said he would try to get construction crews that regularly park there to use the school parking lot instead. That would free up space for visitors. Construction crews renovating the Olympic Speedskating Oval, Olympic Center and former Hotel North Woods are using up many of those spaces right now.

In a way, with all the construction projects going on, the mayor likened the current vibe in town to an invasion. Almost everywhere you turn, there’s another construction crew working on a road, a building or something else.

“Lake Placid has been besieged upon by everything,” Devlin said.

One idea to help with Main Street parking this summer would be to add a third trolley, dedicated solely to a run from the train station parking lot to Main Street, possibly on a 15- to 20-minute loop. That would have to be coordinated through the Essex County Transportation Department, which operates the Placid Xprss trolley system in the village.

“It’s also going to be a chance for us to see if a trolley would work, because who knows what’s going to happen with the cost of a garage in the future?” Devlin said.

Saranac Avenue extra

Some of the work this past week included finishing the 12-inch water main, beginning the testing and chlorination, and connecting the sewer laterals to buildings on Saranac Avenue.

“That was only supposed to be surface water,” Devlin said about the Saranac Avenue work. “It was not supposed to turn into a water line and a sewer line, but when we got in there, the sewer line wasn’t where we thought it was, and it was in really bad shape. Brad’s suggestion was that we make a change order, we do it now. If we don’t, we’ll be digging that road up for the next five or six years. So that got done.”

Crews had also planned to begin installing sidewalk pavers on Mirror Lake Drive.

For the week of June 14, crews expect to continue the water service connections and begin the installation of storm drains on Main Street. They also hope to install four water service connections to buildings and start excavation of the roadway and placing gravel sub-base on Saranac Avenue. Sidewalk paver installation will continue on Mirror Lake Drive.

Open for business, detours

Businesses on Main Street are still open daily. Parking will be limited in the direct work area. As crews move, parking will be restored. Parking is available on both sides of the street; remember to park with the direction of traffic. Delivery zones may be moved as work areas move.

Detours will run through the end of June during the spring 2021 construction cycle. Trucks and cars traveling through Lake Placid to or from Saranac Lake are being directed to use Old Military Road between Saranac Avenue (Route 86) and Sentinel Road (Route 73).

Traffic through Main Street moves like in a rotary. It is one way north from the post office to One Main Street Park, and up the hill on Saranac Avenue to St. Agnes Church. Hillcrest Avenue is one way southbound to the Crowne Plaza on Olympic Drive. Olympic Drive between the Crowne Plaza and Main Street are two-way.

Two temporary traffic lights are active. One is located at the Olympic Drive and Main Street intersection near the Olympic Conference Center. Another is located at the intersection of Wesvalley Road and Saranac Avenue.

Information about the Main Street upgrade, including an interactive map of the detours, can be found on the village website — http://villageoflakeplacid.ny.gov/ — under “Main Street upgrade.”

Questions can be sent by email to lpinfo@villageoflakeplacid.ny.gov or by contacting Development Director Haley Breen (518-523-9516 ext. 267) or village Clerk Anita Estling (518-523-2584).

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