South Street Hill was reopened to traffic Monday, providing relief to motorists who had to take a long detour around the street since its closure for construction in July.
The street is the only direct route from the city to the its schools, which are actually just over the city line in Halfmoon. It winds up a steep hill alongside the Hudson View Cemetery.
The $2 million reconstruction project included new sidewalks on the north side of the street, replacing drainage systems to reduce erosion, building up and widening the sidewalk on the north edge of the road overlooking Tallmadge Park and adding a railing to protect pedestrians.
A new set of stairs leads from the street down into Tallmadge Park, “like there was 150 years ago to get up into the cemetery from the park,” said Mayor Anthony Sylvester.
Even though the street is open to traffic, there is still some work to be done, and there may be intermittent lane closures and flagmen when that work happens, he said.
“They’ve still got work into the spring,” Sylvester said. Line-painting has to be done in the spring because of the cold temperatures now.
The school will start using the street again after its winter break ends in early January.
The route is also used by children walking and bicycling to school, and people worried about the condition of the sidewalks and the fact that the clifflike bank over Tallmadge Park was slowly eroding.
Some residents aren’t happy about a new stop sign at the bottom of the hill, but Sylvester said it was added for safety reasons.
“We have a couple other streets in the city with stop signs and red lights at the bottom,” he said.