ERIE COUNTY, NY— Today, Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz was joined by Congressman Brian Higgins (NY-26) and Commissioner of the Erie County Department of Public Works John Loffredo to preview upcoming road reconstruction at East Robinson and North French roads in Amherst. The $9.4 million project includes full depth reconstruction of the existing roadway plus the addition of two travel lanes and one two-way center turn lane, along with the installation of concrete curbs and gutters and new sidewalks offset from the face of the curb. The work will also include intersection improvements, upgrading and placement of signs and pavement markings.
“The upcoming reconstruction of East Robinson and North French roads underscores the commitment my administration has made to repairing Erie County’s infrastructure, improving the safety of our roads and bridges, and providing residents with the roads and highways they expect and deserve,” said Poloncarz. “My administration has increased the County’s investment for road repair compared to the previous administration. In fact, we invested more than $34 million in road repairs this year, and every corner of Erie County will see improved roads, bridges, and other critical infrastructure. Thanks to this project, Amherst residents and all who use East Robinson and North French roads will now be able to travel on a highway that has increased capacity and safety enhancements.”
The project will reconstruct 1.2 miles of East Robinson and North French roads from Niagara Falls Boulevard to east of Sweet Home road, plus an additional 0.4 miles of Sweet Home road in Amherst. Also included will be the replacement of the bridge over Town Ditch No.2, which will be closed for the entire project length, with guide railing placed at the bridge approaches to protect traffic. Waterline replacements and improvements to Town highway intersections are also planned.
“This stretch from Niagara Falls Boulevard to Sweet Home supports a diverse set of traffic ranging from commercial and light industrial to residential and school buses,” said Congressman Higgins. “This significant infrastructure investment will transform the terribly deteriorating road into a much safer and efficient transportation route.”
The construction bid amount for this project, submitted by Accadia, is $9,399,977.43. The project will be funded with 80% federal funds, 15% state funds, and 5% county funds. Construction began in Summer 2013 and is expected to be completed by Winter 2014.
East Robinson and North French roads between Sweet Home and Niagara Falls Boulevard are currently a two-lane minor arterial highway reaching the end of its useful design life in its present configuration. Traffic analysis by the Erie County Department of Public Works and the Town of Amherst indicate that the volume of traffic exceeds existing capacity, resulting in reduced safety and poor levels of service. The shoulders have become badly deteriorated while the roadway pavement, which was never intended to carry the traffic volumes it currently sees, is still somewhat serviceable.
These roads function as an urban minor arterial highway servicing the northwest area of the town of Amherst. They connect eastern Amherst, the Niagara Falls Boulevard area, and Niagara County to I-990. Presently, the speed limit for the two-lane highway is posted at 40 mph for its entire length, which will be maintained. The roadway widens at the intersection with Sundridge Drive to provide left turn lanes on both approaches. At the intersection with Sweet Home road, North French road widens and is composed of four lanes of pavement with concrete curb gutters. The land configuration is two westbound lanes, one eastbound lane, and single left turn lanes in each direction. This configuration extends from approximately Pineview Drive to Larkspur Lane.
The existing right-of-way (R.O.W.) of East Robinson Road is 24.38m (80 ft.) in width east of the N.Y.S.D.O.T. project to approximately Sundridge Drive. East of Sundridge Drive the North French Road R.O.W. width is 15.09 m (49.5 ft.). Since the project required R.O.W. width exceeding 80 feet, additional property was required along both sides of the road for the entire project length. This resulted in the acquisition of approximately 60 parcels.
The R.O.W. of Sweet Home Road is 20.116 m (66 ft.) in width. The improvements at the intersection of North French Road at Sweet Home Road required additional right of way along Sweet Home Road. The number of parcels acquired on Sweet Home Road was approximately eleven (11). N.Y.S.D.O.T. will provide right-of-way acquisition services. The cost of the property acquisition was approximately $3.3 million.