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by Kerry Barger

Pedestrians walking along Route 6 near Putnam Plaza will no longer need to brave traffic and dodge cars come the completion of a federally-funded sidewalk project this coming spring.

State and county officials broke ground on the 1.8-mile sidewalk this past Wednesday, praising the new project as a gateway for pedestrian safety and enhanced accessibility for those who don’t own an automobile.

Putnam County Legislator Carl Albano of District 5 said the sidewalk could be used as avenue of economic development, especially as it will connect businesses with county residents.

“The [Carmel] Hamlet has a lot of potential for growth, especially with the infrastructure we have,” Albano said. “Putting the sidewalks in is just a move in the right direction—there’s a lot of things waiting to come out the ground to help with this economy and this is one of those projects that is going to be a big help with that.”

The sidewalk will link residents living on Seminary Hill Road and occupants of Stoneleigh Avenue’s senior housing development to the Route 6 corridor. The project’s hired contractor said there will be implemented walkways at the intersection of routes 6 and 52, Old Route 6 by the Donald B. Smith campus and on Church Street off of Seminary Hill Road.

State Sen. Greg Ball stressed the importance of these projects, not just from a safety standpoint, but also from a position of saving money in a tough economy and in the face of rising fuel costs, as well.

“We need to see more projects like this, with networks of bike trails, walking trails and side walks so residents don’t have to rely on fuel and automobiles,” Ball said. “This project will create local jobs and is exactly the type of infrastructure investment that will put thousands of people to work throughout the state, if the state and federal governments can work together better.”

Putnam County Executive Paul Eldridge, who cited the road’s inaccessibility as a major hazard to pedestrians, received $2.1 million from the federal government for the completion of the sidewalk project. With the possibility of a project like this to produce jobs in the area, it is reassuring to know residents will be safer, Eldridge said.

“I have worked in this area for years and have always worried about all the people walking these busy roads,” Eldridge said. “This project will not only do great things to promote our local business, but also improve pedestrian safety.” (ARTICLE)


Publication date: 
Monday, October 3, 2011 - 00:00