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Main Street parking questioned during project meeting

LAKE PLACID — A virtual meeting on Lake Placid’s Main Street revitalization project on Tuesday, Nov. 17 drew more than 40 participants at its peak.

The questions from residents largely centered around parking and the logistics of the project — such as the timelime, and when contractors would be working. There were just a few questions from residents and business owners, and between a presentation on the project and the question-and-answer period, the meeting was over in one hour.

This $10.03 million streetscape and infrastructure improvement plan will change the aesthetics, water infrastructure, environmental impact, pedestrian experience and on-street parking availability of this region’s busiest business district. Village officials have been planning this project for years, securing state grant funding and conducting other financial planning. More recently, that planning has been supplemented by help from the Main Street Task Force, a group of volunteers from different parts of the community who have been providing input on the project for more than a year.

As part of the project — which includes the section of Main Street between Saranac Avenue and the post office — old water pipes will be rebuilt, the storm drainage system along the street will be redesigned to better protect Mirror Lake from stormwater runoff, and the street’s look will change with new sidewalks, more visible crosswalks and green space.

Altogether, the street will lose three parking spaces, according to Lake Placid-North Elba Community Development Commission Chairman Dean Dietrich. The north end of the street will lose 12 spaces, the center of the street will gain seven, and the south end will lose six. Eight spaces will be added to the municipal parking lots.

The sidewalk will either be replaced with granite or concrete paver stones. Village officials haven’t decided which option they’ll go for, but Highway Superintendent Brad Hathaway said they’re leaning toward granite. Granite is the more expensive option, but Mayor Craig Randall said during a phone interview on Tuesday that the granite will last much longer than the concrete. The sidewalk between the post office and the Saranac Avenue intersection will look different than the rest of the sidewalk circling Mirror Lake.

The bump-outs along the street will have space for new greenery and some new seating. Parking meters will also be moved off the sidewalk and into the bump-outs.

“Your experience walking on Main Street will have fewer obstacles,” Dietrich said.

At the upper municipal lot across from NBT Bank, the crosswalks will be updated for safety reasons, the entrance to the lot will be altered to improve ingress and egress, and there will be more handicap parking added — a request of some local senior citizens, according to Dietrich. More parking spaces will be added to the upper lot.

The public bathrooms in the lower lot across from NBT Bank will be updated.

At the north end of the street, the intersection of Main Street, Saranac Avenue and Mirror Lake Drive will be altered in an effort to improve traffic flow and pedestrian safety, plus make room for a new bioretention basin there to filter stormwater runoff before it enters Mirror Lake. The road will be regraded and widened at that intersection and the crosswalks will be moved to safer places.

A Saratoga County construction company has been chosen. The Lake Placid Village Board of Trustees voted on Nov. 2 to award a $10.03 million contract to Kubricky Construction Corporation, a Wilton-based construction firm, for a slate of infrastructure upgrades on Main Street.

This project is expected to last for at least two years, until the fall of 2023. No prolonged water shutoffs are expected, according to Hathaway.

The project may require traffic to be reduced to one way, one lane at times. Traffic may be diverted onto Hillcrest Avenue or Old Military Road, but traffic plans weren’t unveiled during the meeting on Tuesday — that’s expected to come at different meeting.

Construction work is expected to stop in July and August of each year, at the peak of the summer tourism season.

The project is about 50% funded by state grants, according to Randall. The rest will be funded through a long-term, interest-free loan secured by the village through the Environmental Facilities Corporation of New York State and various village funds.