DPW chair calls repairs 'major goal for 2014'
Niagara County Public Works crews have worked an aggressive and early schedule to repair and repave county roads after one of the roughest winters in recent memory, repairing more than 25 miles to date, Public Works Chairman John Syracuse, R-Newfane, said Monday.
Syracuse provided the information ahead of Monday night's meeting of the Legislature's public works committee, which he chairs, where he and county highway officials planned to provide further details about ongoing work to repair damage from the brutal winter of 2014, which damaged infrastructure throughout the Northeastern U.S.
Syracuse noted that, at his last briefing with county highway officials, three major repaving jobs were considered complete, with several still on the agenda for coming weeks as weather allows. Already complete are a 2.3-mile stretch of Bear Ridge Road and a 1.6-mile stretch of East Canal Road in Pendleton, and a 3/4-mile segment of Niagara Road in Wheatfield. The road surfaces were milled and completely repaved after extensive potholing made them among the worst in the county this winter.
"We have an active schedule of roads set to undergo major repairs throughout the county, but considered these to be some of the absolute worst," Syracuse said. "Bear Ridge, in particular, was a concern as it is a major artery between Lockport and both Erie County's North Towns and North Tonawanda.
"Toward the end of summer 2014, we're looking at an aggressive plan to finish out sections of Hess Road in Newfane, Charlotteville Road in Newfane, and Mapleton and Tonawanda Creek Roads in Pendleton."
Road crews are also hot-patching potholes throughout the county, and private construction crews have been hired to complete seven miles of paving work on roads in the towns of Niagara, Pendleton, Lewiston, Porter, Wilson and Wheatfield.
Road sealing work is also planned in the towns of Lockport, Royalton, Hartland and Wilson.
"Really, we're just getting started," Syracuse said. "The head of the highway crew's exact words to me were, 'We anticipate being very busy once the weather really breaks.' We also have a number of drainage and culvert projects on the agenda for the year ahead."
That includes work on Wilson-Burt Road in Newfane, where a bridge closure will be scheduled later this year, Ide Road in Wilson, Mapleton Road in Wheatfield, and Carmen Road in Hartland.
Syracuse said town highway superintendents had been willing and helpful partners in road-paving efforts, working to de-conflict repair schedules to minimally inconvenience motorists. However, he saved his strongest praise for county workers who have taken up a rapid schedule of repairs.
"Our county road crews have done great work despite one of the toughest winters on record," Syracuse said. "They've brought us where we are today, and we're expecting the same type of results as we move throughout the summer."