11/12/14: New EC Road Policy Addresses Low-Volume, Residential Roads

Modified: January 23, 2015 3:29pm

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Policy Establishes $1,000,000 Fund to Repair Roads Contingent on Municipality Accepting Ownership upon Completion

ERIE COUNTY, NY—Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz has announced a new County policy regarding the repair and maintenance of “low volume” county roads, roads which are scattered across the County and which do not facilitate inter-town traffic. The new policy, which goes into effect immediately, will set aside up to $1,000,000 annually in the Erie County budget for repairs on any road of this type. Municipalities seeking these repairs through this funding will enter into an agreement stating that they will take ownership of the road upon completion of the repairs. This funding will be available on a first-come, first-served basis for all interested municipalities. If this funding is not assigned to projects by May 15th of the budget year (contingent on an agreement with a Town) the Commissioner of Public Works will be authorized to reassign these funds to any other county highway project.

“With 2,400 total lane miles of roads in Erie County’s inventory, the inclusion of 200 miles of low-volume residential-type roads is an unnecessary burden on our Highway Department. It is time to return these residential roads to the Towns, where they truly belong,” said Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz.  “The relatively short lengths and out-of-the-way locations of many of these roads make them ideal candidates for addition to the road portfolios of the communities they are located in and also emphasize the need for a more efficient approach to maintaining them. That approach involves cooperation between the County and the Towns to first repair these roads and then turn them over to Town ownership.”

The main function of the county road system is to facilitate vehicular traffic between towns within the county. There are approximately 200 miles of such “low volume” roads included in the 1,200 center-lane miles of roads Erie County is responsible for maintaining. Many of these roads are residential roads, dead ends, and segmented roads which do not connect to any other county road and have very low daily traffic usage. These roads are at a disadvantage when competing for limited County repair funds, as they are grouped in with major county roads that see high traffic volumes and serve as main thoroughfares. Under the new policy and following repairs by the County, roads that are turned over to Town ownership could compete more favorably in the future with other low-volume, residential-type Town roads for repair funding.

Click here to read a PDF of the letter from Erie County Department of Public Works Commissioner John Loffredo to all Erie County Town Supervisors, Town Boards and Town Highway Superintendents.

For more information:

On the Erie County Department of Public Works, visit   http://www2.erie.gov/dpw/