Red Hook street improvements gear up

Sidewalks, crosswalks, and benches: The village of Red Hook is well into a host of street improvement projects designed to benefit local businesses and make the village safer for pedestrians.

Deputy Mayor Brent Kovalchik was providing numerous updates on some of the upcoming work when he paused to take a breath. “I’m surprised I remember all these details,” he said.

The time involved in the planning each project has differed, but village officials hope some may be completed during the month of July to coincide with Red Hook’s bicentennial celebrations.

A Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) will fund new sidewalks on Park Avenue and on Firehouse Lane to Agway. At Red Hook Commons, a mid-block crossing on Route 9 will comply with standards set forth in the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA).

Also planned are crossings from Fraleigh Street to the Red Hook Library and from Prince Street to Firehouse Plaza. At Firehouse Plaza, ADA compliance will require that the curbs along Route 9 be raised, eliminating the current “shoulder” parking.

Funding from the Federal Highway Administration, STP, a small urban grant program, and the state Department of Transportation will enable new sidewalk construction on the south side of West Market Street from Benner Road to Phillips Street.

The Dutchess County Department of Planning and Development named Red Hook “one of the most walkable communities,” which Kovalchik suggested was partly because of the now-shut IGA supermarket.

In addition, 23 benches have been ordered for the comfort of village residents and will be spaced along North and South Broadway and East and West Market Streets, including Red Hook Commons and Veterans’ Park. This project was sponsored by the Village Green Committee, which received $3,000 in donations from the Red Hook Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary and Kearney Realty & Development, and a grant from New York State DEC.

The work is expected to be completed this summer.

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