Clayton's $8.7M Reconstruction Project Hits Snag

Clayton's $8.7M Reconstruction Project Hits Snag

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A couple of weeks ago, Clayton village officials learned the state Department of Transportation had rejected all of the bids that had come in from contractors for an $8.7 million village reconstruction project that has been in the works for years.

The DOT didn't respond to our request as to why the bids were rejected.

While the news was disappointing at first to Deputy Mayor Tony Randazzo, he now says it's a good thing the DOT is making sure it has the right contractor.

"While none of us want to wait, we're all excited. It's that Christmas present we want to open, get the project started. At the same time, if we rush to doing this, it could create a lot more problems down the road and extend the life of the project even longer and as we all know we're a tourist community that relies on the summertime and we need this thing to go really smooth," said Randazzo.

The project includes completely reconstructing Riverside Drive and parts of James and Webb streets from sidewalk to sidewalk and burying overhead utility lines.

The work was scheduled to start in January. Randazzo says he's confident the project will get done.

"We're going to have an amazing redone downtown and it's going to look beautiful. It just might take a couple of extra months," he said.

While some village trustees say it's good that the DOT is holding out for the right contractor, Mayor Norma Zimmer says the news was disappointing and she hopes it doesn't push back the project, which business owners are expecting to take place over this next summer season.

Businesses like St. Lawrence Gallery, right on the corner of Riverside Drive and James Street. Gallery director Kevin Topa says he was prepared for the construction next summer.

"Now not knowing if it's going to happen or not, it's kind of mixed feelings. I know in the long run it will definitely benefit the town and be good for it. I guess we'll just have to wait and see," he said.

While there are still a lot of unknowns, village officials hope to learn more at a meeting with the DOT after the first of the year.

A DOT spokesperson says after the meeting, "We anticipate to follow the standard procurement process for this project. More information will be available in the near future." 

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