LEWISBORO, N.Y. – A nearly mile-long stretch of Chapel Road is about to be converted from dirt to blacktop.

If things go according to plan, the short stretch of unpaved road will receive its extreme makeover sometime in September.

“It’s been on the to-do list for a long time,” said Lewisboro Highway Superintendent Peter Ripperger. “We are just awaiting final approval from the DEP. There’s no problem with the permit. It’s just time consuming.”

The cost of the project was estimated last year to be between $125,000 and $130,000, so prices may have had modest increases since then. Ripperger said the funds will be garnered from the state’s CHIPS program – the Consolidated Highway Fund.

“We have about three years left of funds at our disposal,” he said. “That’s about $350,000. But we have to pay for the project first and then we get reimbursed.”

The town has already done the drainage and grading work, so as soon as the approvals are given from the DEC, the town’s blacktopping contractor will begin work. Town officials had hoped to have the job completed before school started, but now admit sometime in September is a more likely target.

Ripperger said the blacktopping of Chapel Road has been met with mixed feelings by the thoroughfare’s residents.

“Some people like the aesthetic beauty of a dirt road,” he said. “But it creates a lot of dust and it needs a lot of maintenance.”

Others, he said, fear that cars and trucks, which use the road as a shortcut from Waccubuc to Goldens Bridge, will start speeding once the road is paved.

“We will have to do some speed control with the police,” Ripperger admitted. “Around 800 cars a day come through here. You’d be surprised, but traffic is horrendous.”

Ripperger said the biggest problem with the unpaved portion of Chapel Road is runoff after a storm, which creates silt build-up and erodes the shoulders of the road. Much of the runoff finds its way into the wetlands areas along the road.

“You are working with wetlands and the restrictions are unbelievable” he said. “But for the integrity of the road, the job needs to be done, and for the environment it needs to be done.”


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