Erie County to spend $27 million on road, bridge repairs
Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz has announced a list of area roadways that will be under construction this season. The county plans to spend $27 million on the infrastructure projects if the legislature approves an additional $4.5 million.
The plans announced Tuesday would include a total of 60 projects on local roads, highways and bridges in Erie County. Poloncarz says he’s urging the county legislature to approve the additional $4.5 million, so the county can fix nearly a dozen more roads in need of repair as a result of the severe winter.
The added funds would come from the 2013 county budget surplus, additional State Consolidated Highway Improvement Program or CHIPS funds and surplus Transfer Tax revenues.
The additional roads affected by the severe weather include Bayview Road in Hamburg, Pleasant Avenue in Hamburg, Lake Avenue in Hamburg, Cayuga Creek Road in Cheektowaga, Waverly Road in Concord and Eckhardt Road in Eden.
Poloncarz says the county will also repair Connor Road in Clarence, if the Town of Clarence agrees to complete the work and take over ownership and future maintenance of the road.
“These projects span Erie County, and include many roads in need of a lot of work, so I am recommending the Legislature approve these construction projects as soon as possible in order that the Department of Public Works may commence the processes necessary to repair these roads,” said Poloncarz.
County Commissioner of Public Works John Loffredo says if some roadways weren’t repaired this year they would have been subject to closure, because they’re in such bad condition.
“There were a lot of candidates, in fact more candidates than funds, and it was very tough to widdle it down. Probably everybody can come up with their own list, but this was this list we came up with determined by traffic county, whether or not it served the purpose connecting town to town, and also we took into consideration the number of complaints we received,” said Loffredo.
Other major projects included in the agenda, and part of the original $22.5 million in the approved 2014 Capital Budget, include the mill and overlay of heavily trafficked roads such as Sowles Road from Rte. 20 to McKinley in Hamburg, Hopkins Road from Dodge to Klein in Amherst, and Eden-Evans Center Road from I-90 to Derby in Evans. Other significant projects include Goodrich Road in Clarence from Lapp Road to the Niagara County Line and Brighton Road in Amherst from Niagara Falls Boulevard to Fries. Additional road and bridge work, including major bridge replacements, micropaving and oil and chipping, will take place in numerous municipalities across the county including Whitehaven Road in Grand Island, Center Street in Aurora/Holland and Boston State Road in Hamburg/Boston.
Polocarz says he’s asking county residents to be patient if a roadway in their area was not included on this year’s list. He says the county is aware, but some roadways were in worst condition than others. The infrastructure projects are slated to begin over the next few months.