DEPEW, N.Y. (WIVB) — Back ups are beginning already on Transit Road on day one of a major construction project that is expected to last weeks.
“It’s ridiculous,” said Shanell Davis, from Lovejoy. “There’s so much traffic.”
Transit Road from Walden to Gould is being reduced to one lane in each direction most days over the next nine weeks and shut down completely on several weekends.
“Trying to drive that area with traffic down to one lane – it’ll be plugged up,” said Mayor Jesse Nikonowicz from the Village of Depew. “It’s not going to be an easy project.”
And it’s not the project the mayor, residents, and travelers have been hoping for.
“We were looking for a widening and a replacing of all the bridges,” said Nikonowicz.
That project would cost $60 million though whereas this maintenance project that’s underway now is costing $3 million.
The mayor and many others feels widening the road is necessary for property and business owners along the corridor.
“When anybody is making a left, it blocks all the traffic behind them,” said the mayor.
Business owners have another concern now – that the road is going to be reduced to one lane in each direction and drivers are being diverted to a detour.
“Transit Road is a busy road,” said Inderjit Kaur, the owner at the Citgo gas station on the corner of Transit and Walden. “I do get a lot of traffic from south so I think it will affect me. Plus, from north, people will take side roads and local roads and it will affect my business. That’s my concern.”
The State Department of Transportation is suggesting drivers detour using Walden to Dick Rd. to Broadway. Driver say, on day one, they’re already seeing delays along the detour, too.
“Everybody is trying to go down Broadway to Dick Road and it’s just trash,” said Davis, who travels Transit Road every day for work. “They gotta do better. Every main road is messed up now.”
This phase of the project is expected to last until Labor Day and then a similar project will be taking place in the area starting in the spring of 2018.