The following is a statement from Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz responding to claims made earlier today by three members of the Erie County Legislature:
“Legislator Mills, Legislator Rath and Legislator Lorigo were disingenuous with their announcement today of roads in their districts that ‘need immediate repair’ and have, as usual, left out numerous pertinent facts about these roads. Several of these roads are already scheduled for work in 2017, which these legislators knew but failed to disclose, as they were discussed at length during recent capital project committee meetings. These roads include Belscher and Burdick, while Old Lakeshore Road is being evaluated for work as part of the federal aid trail project. Hopkins Road is also already scheduled for work.
Other roads such as Tonawanda Creek Road and Zoar Valley Road are on hold due to soil subsidence, which the legislators also knew about but again failed to disclose when they spoke to the media earlier today. This is a geological problem, not a scheduling problem and not a quick fix. The legislators knew this as well, as this problem has been discussed numerous times in the county’s Capital Projects Committee, of which Legislator Mills and Legislator Lorigo are members. The legislator’s list includes a project in West Seneca that is the Town of West Seneca’s responsibility, a section of road in Clarence that is less than one mile in length that the Town of Clarence has refused to take ownership of for years, and a 9-mile road in the Southern Tier (Springville Boston Road) that has a very low vehicle count. Interestingly, there are no roads in the City of Buffalo on their list, as city roads are actually in worse condition than the roads located through the rest of the county.
Despite the Legislature’s budget-cutting stunt last year, we maintain an aggressive road program across the county and road construction season remains in full swing.
Here is a list of some of the projects we have completed or are currently working on:
• Overlay B (Whitehaven Road and Eggert Road) $1,137,000
• Micro Pave 21 miles ( 2016 Omnibus) $1,900,000
• Nearly 180 miles of oil and chip roads, a cost of $3 million, completed in August 2016
• Overlay A (Ridge Road, Big Tree Road, George Urban Boulevard) completed in August 2016 at a cost of $1,524,000
• Girdle Road was paved after the bridge was completed in August 2016; paving cost of the road from Clinton Street to Bullis Road was $300,000 and work was done by county workers.
• Goodrich Road Phase 1, completed in September 2016 at a cost of $2,900,000. This is a multi-phase project due to the length and engineering challenges. Phase 2 will include approximately $500,000 in funding from Pave NY.
• There is also $2.2 million in additional transfer tax funds that is being utilized to rehabilitate 11 bridges that are between 5-20 feet; four of these bridges are on the Springville Boston Road that the legislators had their press conference on. The bids for this work open this Thursday, September 22. Due to the sizes of the structures, designs had to be completed before the bidding process could start.
• In addition, the Berg Road project begins on Monday with a closure of that bridge and should be completed, along with the road paving, with a substantial completion date of November 18 at a cost of $1,645,384.
• Brooklyn Street Bridge in Akron, completed in August 2016 at a cost of $700,000
• Tonawanda Rails to Trails in Tonawanda, completed in August 2016 at a cost of $2,600,000
• Losson Road in Cheektowaga, completed in September 2016 at a cost of $600,000
• Seneca Street in West Seneca, completed in September 2016 at a cost of $560,000
• Swift Mills Bridge in Newstead, work is ongoing with an estimated completion date of Spring 2017 at a cost $914,000
• Kenmore Avenue joint reconstruction project with the City of Buffalo, work is finishing up at a total cost of approximately $2,000,000
• Girdle Road Bridge in Elma, completed in August 2016 at a cost of $1,500,000
• Jamison Road Bridge in Elma, completed in August 2016 at a cost of $1,485,000
• Bridge deck and steel repairs, bid out and eventual work at a cost of $1,300,000
• Bridge deck sealing, bid out and eventual work at a cost of $202,000
In conclusion, I feel it is important that the public understands that my administration has overseen and plans to continue to maintain a road program throughout the county that accurately identifies roadways that have been inspected by experts in the field that have the knowledge and experience needed to define what is in immediate repair and what can be identified as a future project for 2017 and beyond.”