Purtell asks area residents for patience on Miami Avenue repairs

Montgomery County Legislator Robert Purtell has written an “open letter” to county residents urging them to be patient while a portion of Miami Avenue in the Town of Amsterdam remains closed.

County officials announced March 18 that the portion of Miami Avenue between Tessiero Square and Amsterdam High School would be closed “until further notice.” A portion of the road had collapsed and the culvert pipe underneath it had been compromised, according to the announcement made at that time.

Purtell, whose legislative district includes the area around Amsterdam High School, attended an emergency meeting along with County Executive Matthew Ossenfort and other officials, and an engineer was called in to evaluate the situation. The next day the road was blocked off, Purtell wrote.

Repairing the road will cost about $700,000, Purtell wrote. Repairs will include excavating a 150-foot stretch of the road to a depth of 35 feet below grade, removing the existing culvert pipe and replacing it with either round plastic culvert pipe or a concrete box culvert, depending on the engineer’s recommendation, The area wold then be back-filled and compacted using material from the excavation, then the road will be paved, striped and supplied with new guard rails.

Funding for the project would come from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s “Rising Waters” program, which is earmarked for replacement of culverts and bridges and providing emergency generators to the towns of Amsterdam and Florida and the City of Amsterdam.

Preliminary drawings are being completed now, Purtell wrote. The plan will have to be approved by the Army Corps of Engineers and the state Department of Environmental Conservation. Once approved, the county will solicit requests for proposals (RFPs) to qualified contractors. The contract will be awarded based not only on cost, but on the contractor’s ability to “complete the project om am expeditious manner,” Purtell wrote.

Other options, such as a temporary bypass road or a temporary bridge, were considered but were dismissed as not cost-effective, not feasible due to the confines of the area, or not being quicker to complete, he wrote.

“It is important to note that [legislators and other officials] recognize that the situation affects and creates an inconvenience for many people, as Miami [Avenue] is one of the highest-traveled roads in Montgomery County,” Purtell wrote. “It is our goal to complete the project properly, as expeditiously as possible and within budget. Thank you for your patience.”

John Becker

John Becker is both a Reporter and Consulting Editor for The Compass. He and his wife Pat operate Abbey Farms in Amsterdam NY.