HOOSICK, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Work continues along a portion of New York State Route 7 in Hoosick following the collapse of a culvert last week. Wednesday marks the fifth day a stretch of the road, which is a main artery for traffic between New York and Vermont, has been closed.
The New York State Department of Transportation has begun detouring traffic south to cross the Hoosic River. Traffic heading eastbound are diverted along State Route 22, while westbound drivers follow County Road 95 (South Street).
While detour signs are visible along the route, some vehicles continue to instead go north and pass through the Village of Hoosick Falls.
“Even after the holiday weekend, even after the detour set away from the village, we still are seeing a lot more traffic coming through this particular part of the village,” Mayor Rob Allen said.
While the increased congestion through the small community has caused some headaches for residents, it’s also been a positive for some local businesses.
“We’ve seen some customers stop in that didn’t realize we were here before, so it’s actually helped us in some ways,” said John Cipperley, the owner of JC Tractor Repair & Restoration in the village.
While Route 7’s closure has brought more people into the store, he’s also noticed the issues with the increased traffic flow.
“We’ve had modular homes and mobile homes coming through here that these streets weren’t intended for. That creates a bit of a nightmare for some of the people who are trying to commute normally in the village,” Cipperley said.
But with the uptick in traffic has come an increase in enforcement. The Hoosick Falls Police Department has issued nearly 100 tickets in the several days since the emergency repairs began.
“To put it in perspective, that’s probably about three times our monthly average of tickets. Right off the bat we had a lot of residents speaking up saying, boy there’s a lot of traffic and there’s a lot of people flying through,” the mayor explained.
The village has also issued a temporary parking restriction in certain areas of the community in an effort to keep the narrow roadways as safe as possible. Cipperley, and another local business owner, have assisted in allowing impacted residents to park at their properties.
The DOT says there still isn’t a set date for when emergency repairs along the busy roadway will be completed.
As plans continue to design the new culvert, crews on-site are continuing to work around the clock to prepare the bedding required for it.