May 3, 2013
Like most Erie County residents, I am happy when warm weather finally arrives, especially after the past winter. Now that we are into May, it’s time to look to the upcoming summer and all the sights and sounds that await us. While there will certainly be lots of recreation involved, summer time is also a good time to get busy maintaining and improving our infrastructure.
Erie County has more lane miles of road than any other county in New York State, and more than Delaware, Rhode Island, and Hawaii each have. Our well-traveled roads are subject to a lot of wear and tear, not only from motorists but from our climate as well, and keeping them in a safe condition requires close attention and judicious use of resources and time. Erie County’s Department of Public Works is leading the way in the effort, collaborating with municipalities and others to ensure that roads and bridges are maintained properly.
Residents in all corners of Erie County will see road and bridge work this summer, and here are just a few examples. In Hamburg, the County has taken the lead in creating a Railroad Crossing Quiet Zone on Rogers Road, which will greatly benefit that community. In Amherst, commuters will enjoy a smoother ride on Youngs Road between Main Street and Wehrle Drive, as that heavily-traveled route gets improvements. We will also start the reconstruction of Hopkins Road and the busy East Robinson/North French corridor. Cheektowaga residents will be pleased to see that a busy stretch of Losson Road between Union and Borden is slated for improvements, as is the section of Como Park Boulevard from Indian Road to Transit Road. Long-awaited safety improvements will be happening in Clarence at the intersection of Strickler and County roads. And in Tonawanda, look for crews working on Highland Avenue between Colvin Boulevard and Delaware Road next to Kenmore West High School.
Highland Avenue is a good example of collaboration between Erie County and the Town of Tonawanda that saves residents money while providing the services that taxpayers demand. While Highland is in the Town of Tonawanda, it is owned by the County, and we are pleased to say that workers from both entities will be on site this summer milling and repaving the road in a unique collaboration. This means less cost for the County, faster repairs for Town residents, and a smoother, safer ride for all.
Additionally, dozens of County bridges will have work done in 2013 including Savage Road, Jewett Holmwood, Lake Avenue, Tonawanda Creek, Sandridge, Ryther, Grover, and Zoar Valley Roads. Reconstruction or deck sealing, joint repair, and bridge washing will be going on all over Erie County this summer.
While all this work may cause some short-term travel inconveniences, the end result will be safer roads and bridges for all. I’m looking forward to a busy season!