Erie County announces road repair projects for 2014

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Erie County officials are unveiling the list of road repair and construction projects planned for the summer 2014 season.

The county will spend a total of just over $27 million on more than 60 individual projects. They include paving, oiling and chipping, milling, overlay, pothole repair, bridge joint replacement and deck sealing, and several emergency projects that were added because of significant deterioration and damaged caused by harsh weather conditions over the winter.

Those additional projects will cost $4.5 million on their own, and include repair work to Conner Road in Clarence, Rowley and Cayuga Creek Roads in Cheektowaga, Bayview Road, Pleasant and Lake Avenues in Hamburg, Waverly Road in Concord and Eckhardt Road in Eden.

State funding and some of the county’s surplus will be used to help pay for the projects. Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz says this will prevent the work from having a negative impact on the 2014 budget.

The County Executive’s Office and Public Works Department are asking the County Legislature to fast-track the approval of these road repairs.

“If we don’t fast-track these projects, they will – with the short season that we have and the process that we have to go through – some of these roads might not be completed by the end of the construction season. And the worst thing that could happen is, these roads that are damaged, part of them go into next year,” says Public Works Commissioner John Loffredo.

“This does not mean, by announcing it today, that you’re going to see construction crews on the road in the next week. It’s going to take some time,” Poloncarz cautions. “But by starting the process now, it gives us the opportunity to get out there and repair the roads as soon as the blacktop factories are open and we can actually enter into the contracts with all the providers.”

“Probably everybody can come up with their own list” of roads badly in need of attention, Loffredo said, “but this was the list that we came up with, determined on traffic count, whether or not it served the purpose connecting town to town, and also we took into consideration the number of complaints we received.”

“There is much more need than we have money, but this is a very significant step in the right direction,” Chief Highways Engineer Charles Sickler says. “Ask the traveling public’s patience with us, because I know there have been a lot of calls. We will also be doing a lot more pothole patching.”

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