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Extensive work planned for Zoar Valley Road

SPRINGVILLE ó The Erie County Executive has announced the road work plans for 2013 and not a moment too soon, as there is a lot of work to do in a short season.

For some time now, I have been requesting that the county finalize the 2013 list of projects and mobilize crews, to get as much work done as possible, this season. We have a tremendous range of work that needs to be done, from pothole filling to reconstructing roadways. Bridges and culverts are also in need of repair.

The nearly $13 million that the county executive has marked for road work is necessary, to ensure the safety of residents and visitors. By spending the countyís share, we have leveraged almost $24 million in federal and state funds.

The work that is slated for this summer includes: the Lake Avenue bridge in Orchard Park, the Savage Road bridge in Sardinia and Zoar Valley bridge in Concord.

Also, $1.9 million has been marked for Zoar Valley Road, a roadway that has been closed, in the past, because of its horrendous condition. I received notice that, starting June 10, Zoar Valley Road will be closed, from Trevett Road to Hammond Hill Road, until mid-July, to stabilize that section of the road.

Absent from the project list were some roadways that are most in need of attention, including Lake Avenue in the town of Orchard Park, Eden Evans Center Road and Boston-Springville Road. These and other roadways were recently flagged, by news outlets, as being among the worst in Erie County.

Most frustrating about this process has been the fact that we have funds for road repair that arenít being spent. Specifically, there is $1 million in the transfer tax fund. Designated for road work, that money should be spent, this year, on a number of projects.

The longer we let roads sit unattended, the more they deteriorate and the more expensive it will be, to repair them. I support spending the money now, to take care of as many of the repairs as we can, and hopefully save money, in the long run. When the county has bridges and roadways that arenít even passable is when we should absolutely be utilizing funds, for their intended purposes.

The people of Erie County deserve that we invest their tax dollars in things that will benefit them. Iíve fought for our roads because I believe they are the most important asset to our community.

Good roadways provide easy travels for residents, better commerce for business owners and a pleasant experience for travelers.

We need to make sure the investments in our roads are strong and sufficient for the short and long term.

For additional information about roadwork scheduled in Erie County or other issues, contact my office at 858-8850 or email john.mills@erie.gov.

Guest column submitted by Erie County Legislator John Mills.
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