Due to Severe Winter Damage, Poloncarz Increases Construction Budget by $4.5 Million, Urges Legislature to “Fast Track” Approval of Projects across County
ERIE COUNTY, NY— Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz today announced the Erie County Department of Public Works’ Division of Highways’ 2014 schedule of highway, bridge, and culvert projects, with work totaling $27 million and encompassing over 60 individual projects in 20 municipalities across Erie County. In response to significant damage to roadways caused by the severe winter, Poloncarz has increased the County’s construction budget by $4.5 million above the $22.5 million previously approved as part of the 2014 Erie County Budget.
In order to commence work on County roads and bridges as soon as possible and to provide relief to the traveling public, Poloncarz has submitted a resolution to the Erie County Legislature requesting legislative preapproval this Thursday, April 24th of 2014 highway construction, design and testing contracts and authority to appropriate funds for the 2014 highway work.
“This past winter was extremely harsh on the County’s highways, and damage is widespread despite highway crews’ constant cold-weather efforts to address potholes and maintain roads where possible. In response to the hard winter, I am increasing the highway construction budget by $4.5 million to address road issues countywide. Now that warmer weather is here, we need to move quickly to accomplish as many highway projects as possible during the upcoming construction season,” said Poloncarz. “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.”
Over 119 total lane miles of county road will see improvements this season. The additional $4.5 million will be allocated through a combination of 2013 budget surplus funds, additional State Consolidated Highway Improvement Program (“CHIPS”) funds, and surplus Transfer Tax revenues, will have no negative impact on the 2014 budget, and will allow the County to perform work on nearly a dozen additional roads affected by the severe winter including:
• Bayview Road (Hamburg);
• Pleasant Avenue (Hamburg);
• Lake Avenue (Hamburg);
• Cayuga Creek Road (Cheektowaga);
• Waverly Road (Concord); and
• Eckhardt Road (Eden).
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.
Finally, Poloncarz will commit the county to perform significant site work to 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.
Poloncarz added, “Projects big and small are ready to get underway across Erie County and the clock is ticking. Residents should know that their complaints have been heard and we are improving our infrastructure through a major investment of county, state, and federal funds and we are eager to get to work on these roads and bridges.”