Driving on Southside Oneonta could be smoother in the future.
The state Department of Transportation plans to preserve highways on Southside this year, instead of reviving a reconstruction project.
The DOT is gearing up for an estimated $1.5 million paving project starting this spring on state routes 23 and 28 in the town of Oneonta and including a jog onto lower Main Street in the city. Roads would be restored by milling and repaving, officials said.
The road work is necessary, agreed city and town officials who expressed confidence the DOT would consider the impact of construction on traffic during the spring and summer months.
Improvements to Southside’s highways have been under discussion for a decade or more. In previous versions, the DOT studied the addition of roundabouts to control traffic and proposed widening the Southside retail corridor with up to five lanes of traffic and adding amenities for pedestrians and bicyclists.
DOT spokesman David Hamburg said the state is going ahead with work to preserve the roadway instead of waiting until a larger project can be afforded.
The project, estimated at $1.5 million, will resurface 1.51 miles of Route 28 and 0.79 miles of Route 23, and 0.65 miles of Route 992D in the Otsego County town and city, the DOT website said. Funding will be from federal and state but no local resources.
The DOT sent a letter dated Feb. 27 to elected leaders, community officials and law enforcement agencies with details about the project and to seek comments. Hartwick College officials, who support the project, responded to remind DOT officials that May is a busy month with visitors coming to Oneonta for graduations and other student activities.
The project will preserve and extend the pavement life by milling to a depth of 2 inches and resurfacing with 2 inches of asphalt concrete pavement, DOT officials said. The roads in the project area are weathered, oxidized and have potholes, officials said, and some sections have ruts.