Schenectady funds increased costs for South Church Street project

Schenectady City Hall.

Schenectady City Hall.

SCHENECTADY — Unanticipated construction costs in the completed South Church Street reconstruction project have led to increased expenditures for Schenectady, with the city council approving an additional $37,337 in funding for the project.

During the council’s Nov. 28 meeting, the board approved an amended agreement with the Metroplex Development Authority that will see the city contribute $522,582 in funding for the South Church Street project, up from the original $485,245 city share of the work.

During the Monday night meeting, the council approved up to $640,000 in spending for the project.

The project started in August 2021 and was completed in June 2022, with the street rebuilt with new sidewalks, curbs, the removal of utility poles and paving work.

The original $1,178,110 plan was approved in June 2021, with Metroplex slated to contribute $692,865 to the project.

In January, the project cost increased by $95,000 after contractor Carver Construction accrued unexpected costs at the site, including the removal of a 500-gallon fuel oil tank and changes to curbing, grading and hydrant locations at the intersection of South Church Street and Fuller Street.

“The improvements to South Church Street made an immediate positive impact on the lower State Street section of downtown,” Ray Gillen, Chair of the Schenectady Metroplex Development Authority, said. “Without these improvements and additional parking provided by the county, Schenectady would never have landed the Van Gogh exhibit which has attracted over 100,000 visitors to Armory Studios NY. The improvements to South Church Street improved access to the Armory Studios, to College Suites (student housing), the SEAT Center job training facility and other nearby developments.”

Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy said the reconstruction of the street has paid dividends with the completion of the project.

“It was a dump, unattractive and an embarrassment before,” McCarthy said. “Now it’s attractive with sidewalks and it’s landscaped. There’s parking and it adds to the ambience of downtown.”

In conjunction with National Grid and Verizon, utility poles and overhead utilities on South Church Street were removed, with a trench dug to allow the utilities to be relocated underground. The project also included over 1,000 lineal feet of new paving, new sidewalks on both sides of the street, new streetlights and the creation of 32 on-street parking spaces. Bidding for the project opened in June 2021, with Gillen noting on Tuesday that the project is now complete and closed with all payments finalized.

Categories: News, News, Schenectady, Schenectady County

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