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June 2013 Column - Summer construction to include new light at County and Strickler roads


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oneilj - Posted on 07 June 2013

As the summer driving season approaches, motorists should be on the lookout for roadwork in Erie County. This past week the county executive finally released the 2013 road construction project list, which includes work totaling $36 million. This breaks down to be $12 million in county funds and an additional $24 million in federal and state funds.

One of the largest projects is East Robinson Road and North French Road, from Niagara Falls Boulevard to Sweet Home Road.

Approximately $12 million is being spent to thankfully reconstruct this deteriorating road, as well as improving the shoulders and drainage. Over the past several years I heard from many motorists and residents with concerns about this specific stretch of roadway.

The Department of Public Works was notified, and I expressed my strong support for repairing this roadway as soon as possible. I am pleased it is now moving forward and the issues that I highlighted are being addressed.

Motorists should also be aware that paving will be taking place on other heavily used roads. This includes Youngs Road between Wehrle Drive and Main Street, and Eggert Road from Main Street to Millersport Highway, both in the Town of Amherst. When start dates are announced I will share that information on my county website and Facebook page to keep residents up-to-date.

I am also happy to report on two other projects that have had my attention for some time in the 6th District. First is the intersection of Strickler and County roads in Clarence, which is a major public safety concern. After a comprehensive study, the county has decided to install a much-needed flashing light and to improve sight lines to increase safety at this intersection.

The second project is the long-anticipated completion of the Hopkins Road reconstruction at Smith Road. The residents and first responders have been waiting decades for this work, and I am thrilled it’s being done in 2013 and not next year as originally planned.

When the finalized project list was announced, I was also bit disappointed. In my district alone there are several additional projects that I believe meet the criteria for immediate repair. What’s even more disappointing is that additional funds are already in place for roadwork. The county’s transfer tax fund can only be used for roadwork and contains an additional $1 million that hasn’t been designated. We have to invest available funds now.

 

Infrastructure investment not only guarantees safety to the residents, it creates jobs and ensures quality of life. As such, we cannot ignore “minor” road issues now, or we’ll be forced to deal with major issues eventually, which are more detrimental and costly.

If you have any questions about the road projects outlined or other county issues, please contact my office at 858-8676 or edward.rath@erie.gov.