By Barbara Mellon
It’s all a matter of how you look at it. For some, Andes has been a real mess for the last few months; for others, it has been filled with excitement and progress. No matter how you feel, you have to admit the hamlet has been extremely busy.
Monday through Friday, from early in the morning until late afternoon, men and women from companies such as NYSEG, Margaretville Telephone Company, and CCI Construction have packed our little community. With them come hordes of trucks and backhoes and rollers and any number of large pieces of machinery, as well as boundless amounts of activity, noise, dust, and clouds of Delaware County red dirt.
All this is in pursuit of what the New York State Department of Transportation calls “Route 28 rehabilitation, Hamlet of Andes.” Here we just call it Streetscape. To date the progress has been substantial. New telephone and electric poles have been placed further back from the road, with the time-consuming work of moving cables from the old poles to the new being handled by the MTC and NYSEG crews. The roadway from Gladstone Hollow to Town Hall has been milled and resurfaced, with drainage installed. Curbs have appeared on Delaware Avenue, and along Main Street from the blinking light down almost to The Hunting Tavern Museum. In these same areas, digging for sidewalks has been completed, with storm drains installed as well as the infrastructure required for the vintage lighting that will grace our streets later this year. At this writing, digging for similar work has just begun on the next sections of Route 28, heading south from the Tavern.
There is no doubt that all of this work has been a major inconvenience for business owners, residents, and visitors. Parking is an ever-changing dilemma for drivers as the work progresses from one section of road to the other. Digging required for the installation of curbs and sidewalks has created deep chasms that wary walkers have to navigate with extreme caution. If you keep your ears open at the Post Office, the Transfer Station, any of the stores up and down Main Street, or pretty much anywhere else people gather, you’re sure to hear some grumbling. But when questioned, just about everyone seems to be in agreement that the outcome of all of this disarray will be worth it.
The following is an excerpt of a Letter to the Editor from David C. Andrews printed in the November 2002 issue of the Andes Gazette:
“The sidewalks in Andes have been deteriorating for a good many years and only a few have done anything to improve them. Such a village-wide project would, of course, be prohibitively expensive for the local citizenry to undertake. A Federal grant or two could be the answer. If I still lived in Andes, this would be something I’d love to see happen and would be more than willing to help out with. How about it, Andes’ folks?”
Well, Dave, it has taken longer than many hoped, but these much-needed improvements are finally being taken care of. You’ll be pleasantly surprised the next time you visit Andes. ~