The Hammondsport Industrial Access Road involved resurfacing of three adjoining streets on the village's industrial western flank, running a total length of about a mile.
Project Type:Access Road Project Mode:Highway Average Annual Daily Traffic:2,117 Length (mi):1.00
Economic Distress:1.17 Population Density (ppl/sq mi):71 Population Growth Rate (%):-0.39
Employment Growth Rate (%):-1.63 Market Size:21,036 Airport Travel Distance:47.3667 Topography:15
Region:New England/Mid-Atlantic State:NY County:County
City:Hammondsport Urban/Class Level:Rural Local Area:N/A
Impact Area:County Transportation System:N/A GIS Lat/Long:42.407934 / -77.223857
Initial Study Date:N/A Post Constr. Study Date:2007
Constr. Start Date:1998 Constr. End Date:2001
Project Year of Expenditure (YOE): N/A Planned Cost (YOE $):1,300,000
Actual Cost (YOE $):1,200,000 Actual Cost (curr $):1,609,742
NOTE: All pre/post dollar values are in 2013$
Select a region to display the conditions for that region:
NOTE: All impact dollar values are in 2013$
|Income (in $M's)||1394480.00||669060.00||2063540.00|
|Output (in $M's)||3814090.00||1829960.00||5644050.00|
Hammondsport is a town of 735 in the Finger Lakes region of New York State. The Industrial Access Road resurfaced and provided drainage improvements to an existing one-mile stretch of street serving the town's manufacturing and tourist industries. The project was intended to retain manufacturing jobs and to create new jobs in tourism. However, due to structural factors, the village has continued to lose jobs in manufacturing while winery tourism is stable to declining. The project has had no significant economic impacts. Its main impact was institutional in that it helped the village of Hammondsport retain its independence by enabling it to continue to resist annexation into the larger surrounding town of Urbana. The project supported 25 jobs at the winery, however, these jobs are seasonal and tend to fluctuate.
2.1 Location & Transportation Connections
Hammondsport, New York is located at the head of the Finger Lakes Champagne Trail in northwestern New York, 90 miles south of Rochester. The town is approximately 10 miles north of I-86 via State Route 54 and is 87 miles southeast of Rochester, where there is a regional airport.
2.2 Community Character & Project Context
Hammondsport, New York, is a quaint village of 735 people at the head of the Finger Lakes Champagne Trail in northwestern New York. Through creative grantsmanship and volunteerism, the village has worked to retain its independence from the larger town and county authorities. The village considers its independence fundamental to maintaining responsive, high level community services.
Hammondsport was an early center of excellence in manufacture of aircraft equipment, but much of this has migrated to Asia and Mexico. Losses in the village's industrial base have been offset by its expanding role as a popular stopover along the Wine Trail that crosses New York's Finger Lakes region, which includes over 100 wineries.
In tandem with the exodus of jobs, the population of the village has dropped by about 30% since 1980. Unemployment in the region is relatively low, however, at 5.6%. Many of Hammondsport's residents work in Bath (10-minute commute) and Corning (35-minute commute) at such multi-national companies as Phillips, Mercury, and Corning, which have manufacturing plants and research labs in the region. Blue-collar jobs in the area pay $10 to $12 an hour. According to interview sources, there are an adequate number of both blue- and white-collar jobs within commuting distance and suited to the skills of the local workforce.
The Hammondsport Industrial Access Road involved resurfacing a total of one mile of three adjoining streets on the village's industrial western flank. This area contains a mix of industrial and lower-income residential buildings. Existing roads were replaced and new water mains, hydrants, and storm drainage pipes were installed. Planning for the project started in 1997 and construction was completed in 2001. The project received $1.1 million in funding from ARC, state, and federal source. This reduced the local share to just $83,000, or 7% of the total cost (1997$).
The purpose of the project was to support and retain the town's four major private employers, who among them employed nearly 1,000 workers at the time. The largest employers supported by the project were Mercury Aircraft and Pleasant Valley Winery. These companies were experiencing operating difficulties due to the extremely poor condition of these roads, which were damaging their deliveries. Further, lack of drainage, curbing, and sidewalks along these routes presented a poor image to tourists on the route from the Lake to the Pleasant Valley Winery, the town's main tourist attraction.
4.1 Transportation Impacts
The project, which entailed reconstruction of an existing road, did not add to capacity or change traffic routing. The project consisted of maintenance and capital improvements that had no discernible impact on local transportation patterns.
4.2 Demographic, Economic & Land Use Impacts
Funding for the project was obtained from the Appalachian Regional Commission to whom it was presented as an industrial retention device. The Industrial Access Road was intended to help the village nurture its existing industries by improving the image and operating conditions on the city's west side, where the Pleasant Valley Winery and the Rolling Mills Industrial Park are located. The project was intended to support 24 new jobs at the Winery and 34 additional jobs in manufacturing industries on the city's western flank. Since the project was completed in 2001, however, the number of industrial jobs in this area has declined by nearly two-thirds to around 350, due to downsizing at Mercury Aircraft, which has moved some of its production to Asia.
Despite manufacturing job losses of around 650 jobs since the project was completed, total employment in the town has dropped by just 375 jobs from 1997 to 2006, suggesting some growth in non-manufacturing industries. Currently, there are around 760 jobs in Hammondsport. At the winery, employment has stabilized but fluctuates seasonally. The 25 jobs claimed for winery growth in the application for funding appear to be within this pattern of seasonal fluctuation. In the larger Steuben County labor market area, jobs grew by 10% from 1997 to 2006 and business sales volume by 57%, as multi-national companies have expanded here.
The road's most significant economic contribution was to support winery tourism in the village which has been stable to declining due to a cooling off in winery tourism in the region. The stretch of new road on Lake Street has improved the environment on the main tourist trail between the Keuka Lakefront and the Pleasant Valley Winery, the village's biggest attraction.
As a result of its popularity as a tourism center, Hammondsport is developing a lakefront second-home community for weekend and summer residents. The project improved connections between the upscale lakefront district and the lower income neighborhood within the project area. Street improvements, drainage, and parking improvements supported growth of residential property values here, which rose along with those of the city as a whole.
The project is considered part of a long-term strategy to restore access to a defunct multi-modal transportation depot located in the project area. A grant has been submitted to revive a rail line that would bring tourists from larger centers and to restore water transportation services along a disused canal.
According to the City Manager, without the 97% federal funding for this project, it would have taken the village 30 years to raise the money to support it. Raising the finds locally would have required either an onerous property tax increase or the incorporation of Hammondsport within the larger town of Urbana. Maintaining local home rule was very important to the village for maintaining the high level of its services and the variety of social and cultural activities available to both tourists and local residents.
The decline in the local economy was due to global economic factors, in particular, the loss of manufacturing jobs from Hammondsport to low-wage locations in Asia. The project's lack of impact on job growth at Pleasant Valley Winery is attributable to the stagnation of winery tourism in the region that has marked the past several years. The project, which involved resurfacing of an existing road, did not open up any new sites for development, limiting its potential contribution to the local economy. Overlying these realties is the long-term trend of population decline from remote rural regions as young people migrate to metropolitan areas for a wider range of employment choices.
EDR Group and the Brandow Company, Evaluation of the Appalachian Regional Commission's Infrastructure and Public Works Program, June 2000.
OrganizationSouthern Tier Central Regional Planning and Development BoardSteuben County Industrial Development AuthorityTown of HammondsportWine Trail Properties