Due to effects of harsh winter, Poloncarz increases highways budget by $8.3 million over amount approved in 2015 budget; projects span Erie County
Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz has announced the Erie County Department of Public Works' division of highways' 2015 schedule of highway, bridge and culvert projects, with work totaling $29.4 million. The $29.4 million to be allocated for roadwork in 2015 is $8.3 million more than was approved in the 2015 Erie County budget and includes projects slated for completion in numerous municipalities across Erie County.
"This past winter was extremely harsh on the county's highways. While our highway crews have been diligently patching potholes, more needs to be done to repair and maintain our vast road inventory. In response to the hard winter, I am authorizing nearly $30 million in 2015 to address road issues countywide," Poloncarz said. "This is $8.3 million more than was approved during the 2015 budget process, and will bring total Erie County investments in roads and infrastructure over the past three years to approximately $90 million. These projects span Erie County, and I am recommending the Legislature approve them as soon as possible in order that the Department of Public Works may commence the processes necessary to start work on these roads and bridges."
Federal aid projects such as the ongoing reconstruction of Kenmore Avenue in Tonawanda/Buffalo will continue with the county investing $660,000 in 2015, and also will include investments of $2 million in the Salt Road Bridge in Clarence and $250,000 in the Tonawanda "Rails to Trails" program. The $29.4 million allocation is "new" money that will be joined with existing funding for projects already being conducted and continuing in 2015.
Among the roads scheduled for work in the 2015 construction season are Lake Avenue between Hamburg and Orchard Park; Brighton Road in Tonawanda; Amsdell Road in Hamburg; Fisher and Langer Roads in West Seneca; George Urban Boulevard in Cheektowaga; Goodrich Road in Clarence; and Colvin Boulevard in Tonawanda. Additionally, Losson Road in Cheektowaga, Seneca Street in West Seneca and Evans Street in Amherst are scheduled for repairs along with the Wehrle intersection in Amherst.
Also included in the road construction schedule is $4 million for micropaving and oil and chip operations to be done on an as-needed basis on various additional roads spanning the county. Funding for the additional $8 million of projects will be derived from the county's transfer tax (which can only be used for roadwork) and additional funds to be designated at a forthcoming legislative session on April 16.
Along with the Salt Road Bridge in Clarence, other robust investments in Erie County's bridges include nearly $4 million of work on the bridges on Jamison Road and Girdle Road in Elma, along with an extensive bridge washing, painting, deck sealing and repair schedule across the county.
Poloncarz concluded, "My administration remains committed to providing the best infrastructure we can, and the planned 2015 projects once again underscore that commitment. All across Erie County roads, bridges, dams and culverts are in need of attention after the harsh winter, and I am urging the Legislature to act quickly in approving this package in order to get crews moving on repairs and protect the investments we've made."