Underground infrastructure creates problems on city streets

Oct 20, 2014

Buffalo really doesn't like those shoddy road patches covering new underground work like telecommunications lines. The city has rules covering such problems and the Public Works Commissioner says they are enforced.

Buffalo Public Work crews
Credit WBFO News file photo


One example lies along Washington Street where several sections have those long stretches of mismatched blacktop where something went underground.

Steven Stepniak says City Hall has rules, from a permit to potentially refusing a company a permit in the future because the rules weren't followed.

"They have to come in for a permit. They have to have approval," Stepniak explained.

"There has to be a plan issued to the City of Buffalo. We look at it very diligently and make sure it's done the best and the least intrusively on the city structure itself."

He says there are inspectors watching the actual work and the end result is also checked. Stepniak says seasons and weather can create some problems.
"Some of it is a temporary repair, that they have to come back and do a permanent repair. So, that's one of the things that we look at, is the permanent repair and they are always inspected during the process."

Stepniak says companies which didn't follow the rules sometimes find a very slow process the next time there's a permit request.