Spring potholes, repaving projects to start despite pandemic

Apr 23, 2020

Even in the societal lockdown of the COVID-19 crisis, government must go on. For the City of Buffalo, that includes filling those annual potholes across the city.

There will be some major repaving projects this year, but during his daily briefing Wednesday, Mayor Byron Brown said he is not yet ready to say what those are.

Starting Monday, contractors will be out doing resurfacing work, filling potholes and doing other repairs.

"This year our plan is to resurface 120 residential streets. We'll be spending over $10 million," Brown said. "I know that there have been a lot of concerns about potholes on streets. This will give us the ability to repair most of those conditions."

With the work slated for all nine council districts, Brown said he does not see a problem in moving around the unusually large number of cars parked on residential streets, because so many people are home in the national quarantine.

"There will be a lot more people at home because we are on pause, but we also know that people very much want to see streets repaired. They want to see streets resurfaced," he said, "and we will be doing that, starting April 27. So we hope to have good compliance that won't require us having police having to mini-tow vehicles."

The work will be going on 7 a.m.-7 p.m. daily, as workers rush to get the work completed.

Brown said there also will be some major street repaving projects, but does not want to talk about them right now. They can be big projects, like the recent reconstruction of several blocks of Broadway running out of downtown Buffalo.

However, he did say that this pandemic is showing how "extremely productive" essential staff can be working from home.

"Even under these difficult circumstances, none of our essential services have been interrupted," Brown said. "Today, I'm setting a new goal to reduce the city's carbon footprint by 40% in 2020. This new plan will include more flexible scheduling and a percentage of City Hall staff working from home."

Brown said the plan would be implemented after the pandemic is over.