Potsdam Riverwalk plans advance with contracts for preliminary work
Wednesday, February 7, 2018 - 11:46 am

By CRAIG FREILICH

POTSDAM -- Stalled plans for the Potsdam Riverwalk Streetscape project have re-emerged with a village Board of Trustees vote on Monday night approving two contracts for preparatory work.

Parts of the Riverwalk project were completed when the village ran short of funds in 2016 to move ahead with the streetscape enhancement work.

With village finances now in better shape, The Chazen Companies have been awarded two contracts totaling $34,650 for architectural and engineering work and land surveying services. The funds will come from the village’s miscellaneous revenue account and previous funds for the project from a New York State Local Waterfront Revitalization Program grant. The use of that grant money required matching funds from the village, which was deemed not feasible about two years ago, when the plan was shelved.

The plan was put on hold then when a bid for engineering design services, work on right-of-way issues and construction administration came in at $150,000 when the estimated cost was $90,000.

At that time, the priority for the village was rehabilitating the Crosstown Canal, which had been flooding sections of the village, according to Eleanor Hopke, former deputy mayor. “We are at a point where we have to be really careful” with taxpayer money, she said then.

The route of the Riverwalk begins at the corner of Maple and Market streets moving west, crossing the twin bridges over the river, connecting to a village-owned lane on the west side of the Raquette River behind Swan Landing Apartments, re-crossing the river via Sandstoner Drive, connecting at Garner Park, traveling east on Raymond Street then south on Market returning to the starting point.

North Country officials and the state Secretary of State Cesar Perales broke ground in a ceremony in Ives Park in August 2013.