A Johnson City street that has served as a useful shortcut for village residents and police officers has been shut down by the developer of a $40 million apartment project.

Helen Drive - which connects Avenue C with Lester Avenue - was closed to traffic this month.

The four-block-long street runs along the south side of the former Endicott Johnson Victory Building.

Construction equipment along Helen Drive on April 18, 2022. Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News
Construction equipment along Helen Drive on April 18, 2022. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)

Although most people who used Helen Drive may have assumed it was a public roadway, it actually is a private street.

Johnson City Mayor Martin Meaney said the developers of the Victory Lofts project actually own Helen Drive. He said the street is part of the property once owned by the shoe manufacturing firm.

Meaney said with the amount of construction activity associated with the project including the delivery of materials, "they didn't want a hazard for anybody traveling through there."

The mayor said "once construction is completed, they will open the road back up."

Johnson City police chief Brent Dodge said the closing of the street near the station has meant an adjustment for officers responding to calls of the North Side of the village. But the elimination of the shortcut to Lester Avenue hasn't caused any problems.

The Johnson City police station is located just south of the now-closed Helen Drive. Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News
The Johnson City police station is located just south of the now-closed Helen Drive. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
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Contact WNBF News reporter Bob Joseph: bob@wnbf.com.

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