Tonawanda News — Department of Public Works Supervisor Brad Rowles informed the North Tonawanda City Council this week about a rise in state funding for area roads, a much-lauded announcement first released last week and coming on the heels of one of the most severe winters in recent memory.
The city will receive more than $735,000 in state Consolidated Street and Highway Improvement Program and another $67,000 in emergency funds, about $300,000 above the 2013 state allotment.
Coupled with the city’s bonded funds and $200,000 left unused from the 2013 budget, the city will now put more than $1.1 million toward area road repairs this summer.
“New York state basically saw how devastating the winter was,” Rowles said. “The roads actually froze down 32 inches deep and it did so much heaving it left a wake of damage.”
Rowles said crews have already begun patching the more problematic spots around the city eased by the early opening of several asphalt plants in the region in response to the harsh winter and the demand from municipalities and contractors.
Battered by a deep freeze and frost levels that shifted pavement as well as a relentless snow tally that caused seemingly daily plowing over several months, as with much of upstate New York, the city will have a busy season ahead, Rowles said.
The city has yet to release it’s paving list that will likely be split evenly among the city’s three wards. Mayor Rob Ortt said he does not have a timeline for the release. If talks last year among council members are any indication, portions of Nash Road and Payne Avenue would become prime targets.
Rowles said crews already have paved a section of Payne and Erie avenues near heavily damaged intersections. The DPW has increasingly turned in-house for many paving projects in recent years as a cost-saving measure, though 2014 will probably utilize contractors about a third of the time.
“We’re ramped up, we’re ready to go and we’re going to knock out some streets in a hurry this summer,” he said.