Carmel, NY – Last night, County Executive Kevin Byrne hosted a town hall style meeting to address Putnam Valley residents about the much-anticipated Peekskill Hollow Road construction project. Nearly 100 residents of Putnam Valley attended the event to hear from representatives of the County, and from the selected contractor, ELQ Industries, about their plans to finish the project.
“We are committed to making this entire process more transparent for the residents of Putnam Valley,” said County Executive Kevin Byrne. “With the help of Legislator Bill Gouldman, we’ve made tremendous progress in accelerating the bidding process and selecting a new contractor that will finish construction on this critical infrastructure project. Legislator Gouldman and I have been speaking about Peekskill Hollow Road since before I took office in January, updating the public as often as possible. This town hall offered residents and other local officials a meaningful update and provided them the opportunity to ask specific questions and receive answers from me, the contractor, department of public works, design engineers and more. One of our goals was to acknowledge the frustration they’ve experienced, to set reasonable expectations moving forward, and respond to any outstanding resident concerns. I believe we accomplished that goal.
Putnam Valley Town Supervisor Jackie Annabi opened the meeting, welcoming residents and said, “our residents have been frustrated for nearly 2 years. We appreciate the open dialogue and continued coordination to address the concerns of our residents and commuters. Having both County representatives and contractor representatives at this forum means a lot to all those in attendance. Thank you to County Executive Kevin Byrne and his staff for setting all of this up!”
Legislator Bill Gouldman, Chair of the Physical Services Committee, thanked all those in attendance and recognized the importance of civic participation saying, “it was encouraging to see the community’s engagement and commitment to this project. Peekskill Hollow Road is a vital transportation link in our community and we’re eager to move forward and finally finish this project. I thank the County Executive and ELQ for their willingness to hold this public forum and make sure the community is informed.”
"We are honored to be entrusted with the Peekskill Hollow Road Bridge Construction Project, and we take our responsibility to the community very seriously," said Sam Etre, CEO of ELQ Industries. "Our team is committed to working as efficiently and safely as possible in delivering high-quality bridges and associated work that meets the needs of the residents and enhances the infrastructure of Putnam Valley.”
Also in attendance was Commissioner Bob Lipton of the Putnam County Bureau of Emergency Services to give an update on recovery and response efforts following the July 9 – 10 storm that devastated parts of Putnam Valley and the County at large.
“The President has declared a major disaster in our area, and we’re in the process of working with the State and Federal Government to get funding to fix a lot of the infrastructure that was damaged,” said Commissioner Lipton. “While individual assistance has not been made available to residents by the federal government, we’re doing the work to provide FEMA and New York State with all the data we can to show that our homeowners in our community do need this financial help. I know the County Executive has been advocating to federal representatives for this as well.”
County Executive Byrne continued, “When we were planning this town hall for Putnam Valley months ago, we didn’t expect to have an extreme weather event creating a major disaster that caused tens of millions of dollars in property damage throughout the county. Given the extent of the damage to Putnam Valley, we felt it was important to also provide residents an updated directly from the Bureau and allow them ask questions about Putnam County’s recovery efforts as well.”
The conversation with residents was moderated by County Executive Byrne, who helped answer dozens of questions with assistance from Department of Public Works Deputy Commissioner Joseph Bellucci, Director of Purchasing John Tully, Bureau of Emergency Services Commissioner Bob Lipton, as well as design engineers at Barton & Loguidice.
Construction on Peekskill Hollow Road is ongoing and expected to be fully completed by July of 2024.