The dangerously poor conditions of the roads in Salamanca may finally get the attention they need.
By Kellen M. Quigley | Feb. 26, 2020 | Reprinted from www.salamancapress.com
SALAMANCA — Winter may seem never-ending, but local public works departments are looking forward to spring and the start of roadwork repair season.
At the last Salamanca Public Works Commission meeting, Superintendent Rob Carpenter said the state Department of Transportation has expedited the projects for Routes 219 and 417 in the city.
“They’re supposed to start construction this spring,” Carpenter said. “And I see New York state has been down here doing some surveying, so I’m hoping that’s a good sign.”
The first project is listed as “in development” on the DOT website with the bid opening expected in the spring. Construction is expected to begin in summer 2020 and completed in the fall, according to the website.
The project would be to resurface pavement on Route 417 and Route 219 from Park Avenue through Clinton Street, a portion of Wildwood Avenue and Central Avenue to the Salamanca north city line.
A second project covering the rest of Route 417 from Park Avenue down Broad Street to Center Street is also in development with bids opening in the summer and construction beginning in the fall, according to the state website.
Work for each portion of the project could also include drainage structure repairs, replacements on non-compliant ADA curb ramps, corridor sign replacement, traffic signal repairs and pedestrian signal upgrades as necessary, the website states.
The cost of each project is approximately $2,300,000 for a total $4.6 million bill to be paid completely by federal and state funding.
In addition to the road work, Carpenter said a roundabout project on Broad Street near Tim Hortons is also in development by the Seneca Nation of Indians.
Sharon Ray, DOT Project Manager at the Seneca Nation, informed Carpenter that the Nation was recently awarded a roughly $866,000 grant to the Tribal Transportation Safety Program Fund for the $1.8 million project.
Carpenter said the area on Broad Street from Eagle Street and the Veterans Memorial Park entrance to Messenger Street and Iroquois Drive has been under survey for about a year and a half with the roundabout going in somewhere along there.
“The roundabout is going to be a huge project,” Carpenter said. “I talked with Sharon and she doesn’t want to push that into the (road) project because it will just hold everything up. We’re interested in getting the roads done.”
IN ADDITION TO the state projects, Carpenter said the Common Council members should also begin deciding which roads they’d like to see reconstruction on as well as to tar and chip projects on some side streets.
After looking at CHIPS money from the state, the Salamanca DPW has about $800,000 to use for city streets.
“Front Avenue is one that catches my eye and Lincoln Avenue and Monroe Street to Highland Avenue,” Carpenter said.
Another street in need of repair is Drake Street because it’s becoming a safety issue, Carpenter said. He said he has to put sand down instead of salt because it’s a dirt and gravel road.
“My guys go up there to plow and we’ve slid into the ditch three times the past couple years,” he said. “It’s becoming dangerous to go up there and try to navigate these small driveways with our trucks to get turned around.”
The plan for Drake Street would be to dig down several inches, put in a new base and layover with blacktop, Carpenter said.
“After I see what money we spend on this, I’ll have a better idea of what there is left to tar and chip,” he added. “And I’ll find out what it costs per lane mile to tar and chip.”