Tonawanda News — North Tonawanda officials received word on Tuesday that a Meadow Drive extension project planned for years and held in bureaucratic limbo can proceed by early summer.
The announcement came from City Attorney Shawn Nickerson, who told council members approval came from the state Department of Transportation, which had the final say on whether the project could move forward and also held the $1.4 million in federal funding secured in 2005 during former Rep. Tom Reynolds’ tenure.
Since then, the city has weaved its way through impediment after impediment, including state wetland designations, the procurement of land from residents through sales and foreclosure and easements on land owned by the CSX Rail company.
The city will be responsible for covering 20 percent of the overall costs, which total $2 million and will alleviate east-west traffic along Erie Avenue, where a business presence has grown in recent years.
Nickerson said that bids for the projects will go out in June, with work expected to begin shortly thereafter.
“We’re right on target,” he said. “I predicted that the DOT would green light this the first of May. What the DOT is telling us is that everything is in order so we can advertise for those bids.”
Those bids are expected to be awarded by mid-June with the a 30-foot wide road about a half mile in length kicking off likely in July.
City Engineer Dale Marshall said the project is slated to take 90 days, adding that the wait likely caused some cost increases due to the rise in the price of gasoline since 2005, which is used for asphalt and also affects delivery costs.
Marshall, however, was able to size down some of the costs related to the project by narrowing the 3,300-foot roadway to from 40 to 30 feet. Nonetheless, years of frustrations may soon come to an end.
“We planned on starting the project earlier this year,” Marshall said. “But we’re happy to have everything finally in place.”
In other news the council approved a $461,000-bid to Quackenbush Co., Inc for a carbon filter at the North Tonawanda Wastewater Treatment Plant.Contact reporter Michael Regan at 693-1000, ext. 4115.