CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. (WIVB) — For seven years, traffic has been cut off at the halfway point of Zurbrick Road.
The reasons are as varied as they are long. A creek that snakes alongside the road eventually eroded the hillside and the street gave way. Then the backfill used to shore up the bank was contaminated.
The creek was cleaned, the hillside restored. Still the waiting continued for residents like James Burst, who’s lived along the road for 40 years.
“The fact of the matter is, you need a road in front of your home,” Burst said. “You build a home assuming that it’s going to be there for the rest of your life, and then you wake up one morning and it’s gone.”
James says it’s more than an inconvenience.
But the wait is finally over. Town officials assure residents like James Burst, they will have a newly rebuilt street by the end of the summer.
“We are thankful that the road is going to be redone,” Burst said. “It’s been a long time. People are really sick of it. When you don’t have a street for five, six, seven or eight years, you get kind of disappointed.”
While some residents can’t wait to see traffic finally flow freely through Zurbrick Road. Others aren’t so sure.
Shelly Wirth has grown accustomed to a quieter neighborhood.
“Prior to them closing it it was like a speedway,” Wirth said. “Our bedroom is upfront here and our windows rattle from the base from cars. You get woke up at 2 or 3 o’clock in the morning. It’s not nice. We’d rather it be closed.”
Sen. Tim Kennedy, D-Buffalo, helped to lead the charge of change.
“Reopening Zurbrick Road has long been a priority of my office, and for years we have worked alongside town of Cheektowaga leadership to demand that the DEC keep this project on track,” Kennedy said. “For more than a decade, Zubrick Road homeowners have had to endure uncertainty over whether or not their properties would be protected from erosion and roadway collapse. Unexpected delays and setbacks have understandably led to neighborhood frustrations, but knowing we are within weeks of getting shovels in the ground shows the state is finally paying attention.”
Town of Cheektowaga Supervisor Mary Holtz said utility work is already underway, and road work could begin in the next two weeks. She said the road will be rebuilt by the end of the summer.