Bumpy ride frustrates Southtowns residents

County highway boss warns there's only so much money for construction this year

SPRINGVILLE, N.Y. (WIVB) – Pothole problems are plaguing drivers who use a county road in the town of Concord.

Many in the community have raised red flags about driver safety, and the damage done to vehicles.

Springville-Boston Road, a 9-mile stretch owned and maintained by Erie County, is in desperate need of attention.

Motorists have about had it with swerving around potholes.

Residents like Jackie Ettipio have real concerns about the road’s condition.

“You do lose control when you’re on it because sometimes there’s a stretch of about 10 feet of just nothing but holes,” said Etiipio, who lives along the bumpy county road.

Concord Town Supervisor Gary Eppolito says the road has been a problem for a couple of years.

“The holes are deep enough that not only will they damage your car, but you can honestly lose control of your vehicle. It’s that bad,” said Eppolito, who’s fielded complaints from residents.

“I think at this point in time I’d suggest that it’s at its worst condition that it’s ever been. The road right now is almost undriveable,” he said.

Last month, Republican John Mills, chairman of the Erie County Legislature, fired off a letter to County Executive Mark Poloncarz about the concerns of residents.

“My office receives calls, letters and email regularly from residents who are frustrated with the continual damage being done to their vehicles,” the letter states.

“…and residents expressed a real fear that a deadly accident will occur as drivers attempt to avoid potholes and sometimes lose control of their vehicles,” Mills wrote.

One auto repair shop in Boston has seen its share of damaged vehicle.

“Quite a few actually have come through between tires, rims bent and rear shocks broken out of the car,” said Frank Candela of Gold Star Service.

Jackie Ettipio, who’s taken to social media, posting pictures of the road’s deteriorating condition, says her truck was damaged about a year ago.

“I had $325 I had to pay for a leaf spring on it,” she said. “We work hard. We pay to buy good vehicles. I want my vehicle in good condition.”

Aside from the damage, Ettepio and others say it’s a public safety issue, and they’re looking to Erie County for answers.

Bill Geary, the county’s commissioner of highways, says $800,000 has been committed for culvert work this year, which he says has to be done first.

But beyond that, Geary says there are no guarantees.

“We’re doing in-house type designs on a plan if that road does meet our road program for the 2017 — we’re designing those right now. But again, we’re also looking at 250 miles of other roads that are in that same category,” said Geary.

Geary says the freeze-thaw period this year has made it difficult for patch work, and that in the near future a decision about what to do with the road will be made.

He says there’s only so much money available, and that other “poor” roads in the county are competing for those dollars.

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