GUEST COLUMN: Road Work in Focus this Summer

Modified: July 5, 2019 3:47pm

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With Independence Day now behind us, Erie County is moving full swing into summer and doing as much road work as we can while the weather remains good. During the recent holiday I was happy to join parades across the county, meeting and speaking with residents in East Aurora, Grand Island, Cheektowaga, Lancaster, Akron and Orchard Park. Many of these residents were appreciative of the amount of work already being done and were pleased to hear that more is on the way, after we recently announced an additional $1.1 million in road funding coming from New York State to help our roads recover from extreme winter weather. That funding is on top of the $40 million we had already budgeted for road work in 2019, and with so much happening this month provides a good opportunity for review.

A number of mill and overlay projects have already been completed in 2019 in districts across Erie County using county funds from this year’s $40 million investment. These include mill and overlay work on Freeman Road and Girdle Road in Orchard Park, Shisler Road and Goodrich Road (from Tonawanda Creek Road to Town Line) in Clarence, Exchange Street in Alden/Marilla, and Lake Street in Lancaster. 2019 mill and overlay projects have also been completed on Love Road and Bush Road on Grand Island as well as on McKinley Parkway (from Quinby to Clark) in Hamburg. As of this writing, construction is ongoing on Vaughn Street in Concord, on Englewood Avenue in Kenmore, and on Zimmerman Road in Boston. Late-summer mill and overlay operations will take place on Baseline Road in Grand Island, on Bowen Road in Lancaster (from Hall Road to William Street), and on Davis Road in Aurora.

The $1.1 million in extreme winter weather recovery funding augments county funding already in place and allows crews to expand already-scheduled projects while tackling new ones as well. The following roads will see mill and overlay work conducted later in the summer using EWF funding: Bowen Road in Lancaster (from Hall to Broadway), Davis Road in Aurora (from Rte. 20a to Ellicott), East Church Street in Eden, Grote Road in Concord, and New Road, North French Road, and Maple Road in Amherst.

Other infrastructure work I've authorized to start later this year includes the reconstruction of East and West Road from Leydecker to Union Roads in West Seneca and North and South Main Street in Angola, as well as major mill and overlay projects of Old Lakeshore Road in Evans and Abbott Road from Milestrip Road to Rt. 20 in Orchard Park.

This is just a short list of 2019 road work that’s already underway or completed, while much more is scheduled to begin later in the summer or early fall. When driving, please be aware of our road crews as they work hard to repair our infrastructure. Give them a brake and say “thanks!” for all they do!