---- — The New York State Department of Transportation will hold a public hearing to discuss a project to stabilize the highway embankment supporting state Route 80 in the town of Otsego.
The hearing is being held in accordance with the Eminent Domain Procedure Law at 6 p.m. Thursday, July 25 in the Cooperstown Middle/High School auditorium. The school is located at 39 Linden Ave.
According to a media release, the slope stabilization project is in the preliminary design phase, during which alternatives have been developed to address identified deficiencies. The release said the meeting format will consist of both an open house and a formal presentation. NYSDOT representatives will be available to discuss the project with interested citizens and public officials in an informal setting from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. A formal presentation will begin at 7 p.m.
Engineering and right-of-way aspects of the project are expected to be covered in the formal presentation. The release states that all interested persons will be given the opportunity to express their views concerning the economic and social effects of the project, its impacts on the environment and its consistency with the goals and objectives established by the community. The proceedings will be recorded. People may make oral statements and/or file written statements. Written statements submitted at the hearing or mailed to the project manager no later than Friday, Aug. 9 will be made part of the record.
According to the release, some property may need to be taken to safely and successfully complete the project. Those who wish to officially oppose property takings may do so only on the basis of issues, facts and objections raised at the hearing.
A design report containing maps, drawings and other pertinent information developed by the state, and written views received as a result of the coordination with federal, state and local agencies is available for public inspection and copying at the Office of the Regional Director, New York State Department of Transportation, Binghamton State Office Building at 44 Hawley St. in Binghamton.
Additional design reports are available for review at the following locations: Village of Cooperstown offices at 22 Main St., the town of Otsego offices at 811 County Highway 26, the town of Springfield offices in the Springfield Community Center at 129 County Highway 29A, the Otsego County offices at 197 Main St. in Cooperstown and the Cooperstown Village Library at 22 Main St.
Construction of this project is tentatively scheduled to begin in the winter of 2014. This schedule is subject to change pending completion of the project’s design phase and available capital program resources. It is anticipated that the project will be completed by the spring of 2015. During construction, alternating one-way traffic with signals is expected to be maintained on site with construction signs. There may be times when flag personnel will be utilized as well.
The Department of Transportation is encouraging attendance and input as this project progresses because it feels “public involvement is essential in defining and shaping transportation projects for the benefit of the highway user, the community and the general public.” People who cannot attend the meeting and have questions or comments, or would like to discuss the project in further detail, should contact the project manager, Katy Mangan, by telephone at 721-8575 or by email at Kathryn.Mangan@dot.ny.gov. Comments may also be submitted to NYSDOT- Region 9, 44 Hawley St., Binghamton, NY 13901.