Travelers aren’t the only ones being delayed lately along Jericho Turnpike. Following several weeks of reports that state construction crews would finally begin work on the long-awaited repaving of Jericho Turnpike, the timetable has been pushed back yet again, after issues of the contractor in charge of the project reportedly being overextended.
“They’ve been delayed again,” Mayor Scott Strauss said during the October 17 meeting of the Mineola Village Board at village hall, noting he and Sen. Jack Martins had had several phone conversations with the state department of transportation as well as meetings with village attorney John Spellman and superintendent of public works Tom Rini in attendance.
“We’re trying to get this resolved,” Strauss said.
Originally the repaving was supposed to have started in September, but was then pushed back to October 8, then October 15. The contractor – Tully Construction – is reportedly engaged with a number of other projects in the area that have cut into the start time for work to begin on Route 25.
“October 15 has obviously come and gone and we’re still working on that to get it to move,” the mayor said. “The issue seems to be that the contractor is backlogged on other projects for whatever reason, whether it’s weather or other concerns that they had, it’s not off the table yet but obviously it’s been delayed.”
The repaving project stretches along Jericho Turnpike from the city line to the end of Mineola on Glen Cove Road. An agreement brokered by Sen. Martins ensured that Mineola would be a part of the project after plans originally called for repaving to stop at Herricks Road and that the village would be the first area of Jericho to be repaved.
Crews have already prepped some sections of the roadbed along Jericho and placed down numerous orange filter mats on top of stormwater basins in anticipation of the project. Crews have also reconstructed almost all of the handicapped accessible ramps at the curbs along Jericho Turnpike. However, there is currently no firm start time for paving to begin.
The work was to have been done in three phases: from Herricks Road to Willis Avenue, from Willis Avenue to Frank Avenue and from Frank Avenue to Glen Cove Road. Milling was originally set to begin on the eastbound lanes one night and then to return the next night and mill the westbound lanes in the westbound lanes in the same section, then pave that section and move onto the next section.
“What would occur is a few days of milling and then a few days of paving to make sure that one section was done completely and then move to the next section,” Rini said. “I don’t know what their status is at this point. I don’t know if they’re having issues getting milling crews to do the milling in that fashion; they probably need to line up three or four milling machines and a great number of tractor-trailers to move that train down the road doing half of Jericho in that fashion and then coming back the next night to do the same thing.”
State crews are also reportedly doing milling and paving work on the Northern State Parkway and Long Island Expressway. The contract for Tully Construction reportedly runs through 2013.
“I don’t know if they’re looking to punt it into the middle of next season, to line up all this equipment and be able to run through it,” Rini said. “I guess in their mind they’re looking to do one long pave project rather than splitting up. Obviously we don’t support that. We prefer to obviously have our section done because it’s just the mill-and-fill, it’s not total reconstruction like the others.”