Beginning of work on an $8.6 million modernization project at the Village of Canisteo
There is a new sign of the times in Canisteo.
The community famous for its huge “living sign” where hundreds of pines spell CANISTEO is set for an $8.6 million project that will upgrade State Routes 36 and 248 in the Steuben County village.
The overhaul includes pavement resurfacing, new sidewalks, the creation of dedicated turning lanes and other improvements designed to improve safety and boost travel on two critical roads linking Canisteo to the town of Hornell and the wider region of the Southern Tier.
Funding for the project comes from the New York State Department of Transportation.
The plans are also designed to improve the visual appeal of the village and build on the tourist appeal of the “living sign”, which was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2004.
The project includes new lighting and updates to an important gathering place in the village: the downtown park.
Project to make the Village of Canisteo more accessible
Making downtown Canisteo more appealing to pedestrians is a primary goal of the redesign.
“This project is more than just an investment in the roads and sidewalks of the village of Canisteo – it is fundamentally helping to develop and promote a healthy and vibrant community by making it more walkable, bikeable and accessible,” said DOT Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez. an announcement on March 18 of the start of construction.
Improvements planned for the village include:
- Replacement of existing sidewalks and addition of 1,000 feet of new sidewalk along State Route 36
- New rapid flash beacons along State Route 36 and Maple Street to improve pedestrian safety
- Modern acorn style lampposts in front of businesses along National Route 36
- Installation of dedicated left-turn lanes along State Route 36 to reduce congestion and improve traffic flow
- New parking lot, benches, picnic tables and other improvements to the Village’s downtown park
Officials said there were no plans for detours. Flaggers will be used to direct traffic in the work area.
Roads and sidewalks will be open to traffic during the winter months when construction is idle and local businesses will remain accessible for the duration of the project, which is expected to end in fall 2023.
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Downed trees in downtown parking lot
The village was already an active construction scene on Monday. Downtown parking workers began removing trees that caused damage under the parking lot.
When the updated landscape is complete, it will include new trees that won’t damage the basement, a sidewalk, new lighting and seating, said Canisteo Village Mayor Monica Recktenwald.
Recktenwald expects the most visible improvements to be seen in the park.
“Our monuments, which were located in different areas of the downtown park, are all moved to a central area near the gazebo,” she explained Monday.
The project was presented at the 2020 public meetings
The DOT detailed the scope and purpose of the village project in two public sessions in August 2020. Recktenwald said these meetings were valuable because they allowed community members and downtown business owners to review plans, offer ideas and voice concerns.
“I appreciate how the local state DOT office has made itself available to residents who have raised their concerns and been transparent with this long-awaited project,” Recktenwald said in the announcement. of March 18. “On behalf of the Village Council, I would like to express my utmost gratitude to the folks at the State Department of Transportation who put together the plans for this project which will not only improve our safety but also improve traffic flow in our village. “
The price of the project has increased significantly since 2020, when the estimated cost was around $5 million. The DOT based this projection on conditions at the time.
“Unfortunately, DOT is subject to the same price volatility for materials and labor that has been seen throughout the economy since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, which has resulted in a increase in overall project costs,” the DOT public information officer said. Joe Leathersich.
The project complements the regional plan “Southern Tier Soaring”
Steuben County Executive Jack Wheeler called Routes 36 and 248 “key travel arteries” for local residents and visitors.
“Steuben County greatly appreciates New York State’s investment in our western region, especially the village of Canisteo,” Wheeler added.
State officials said the Canisteo project complements “Southern Tier Soaring” – a regional strategy to revitalize communities and spur economic growth.
Senator Tom O’Mara said the Canisteo project “builds on the success of recent beautification projects in the villages of Watkins Glen and Montour Falls.”
The village of Canisteo has a population of approximately 2,200, according to the 2020 U.S. Census. Its origin dates back to the late 18th century, making it one of the oldest communities in Steuben County.