Unicorn Contracting to Invest More than $600,000 in Traffic Mitigation
Unicorn Contracting today announced the results of an engineering report regarding the traffic impact of the proposed Underhill Farms project at the site of the former Soundview Preparatory School. The traffic study was conducted by transportation planning expert Philip Grealy, PH.D., P.E. and Colliers Engineering & Design. Grealy is a resident of Yorktown Heights.
“We want Underhill Farms to be a source of pride for Yorktown and improve the quality of life in Yorktown Heights,” said Paul Guillaro, President of Unicorn Contracting Corp. “Our phased approach will ensure the most important community benefits are provided first and help ease the existing traffic congestion along Underhill Avenue.”
“As a resident of Yorktown Heights, I was extremely pleased to work on this project and help develop a solution to the longstanding traffic backups that occur especially during the afternoon rush hour on Underhill Avenue at Route 118,” said Phil Grealy. “When Underhill Farms and the traffic improvements are completed, there is no question that we will have fewer traffic back-ups at that intersection than we do now during that critical time period.”
The Underhill Farms project includes two phases, the first of which would include renovation of the Underhill House and historic ice pond and the construction of 80 townhomes and condominiums. The project will include a pedestrian/vehicle access connection to the Beaveridge Apartments. At least two-thirds of these new residential units will be occupied by seniors. Based on industry standard metrics, and considering the access connections during this phase, the project will add 30 vehicle trips during the PM peak hour to the Underhill Avenue/Route 118 intersection. This represents an increase of less than 2% of the 1,600 vehicle trips traveling through the Underhill Avenue/Route 118 intersection during the PM peak hour before the pandemic.
To offset this increase and help alleviate existing traffic congestion, phase one of the Underhill Farms project provides over $80,000 to improve traffic and pedestrian movements including at the intersection at Underhill Avenue and Route 118. This includes $30,000 for an upgraded traffic signal and timing, $15,000 for an ADA-compliant crosswalk with a new rapid flashing pedestrian beacon and $35,000 for design work. Phase one also provides $200,000 for a connection to the Beaveridge Senior Apartments (referenced above), emergency access road and parking for the Town’s new Senior Center and Parks and Recreation Department.
Phase two of the Underhill Farms development would proceed after completion of the State Department of Transportation’s permitting process for the geometric and signal upgrades for the Route 118/Underhill Avenue intersection reconstruction. To mitigate any additional traffic increases associated with phase two, Unicorn Contracting will provide approximately $350,000 in funding along with a land dedication of a portion of the property to allow the road to be widened for new turning lanes. The turning lanes and new signaling will substantially relieve traffic backlogs at the intersection during peak travel periods.
“We’ve assembled a first-class team of architects, engineers and historic preservation experts so that Underhill Farms benefits everyone in Yorktown,” Guillaro said. “Since last summer, our engineers and development team have been communicating with the Town planning department to ensure that everything is done right, every step of the way. Our priority is to preserve the property’s historical legacy, while making it a vibrant new area for Yorktown residents to enjoy.”