SPRINGVILLE— Erie County Legislator John Mills has made an official request to Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz to repair Springville Boston Road. In a letter sent to Poloncarz, Mills calls the condition of the road “deplorable.”
“Without a doubt, Springville Boston Road must be repaired this year. I have asked the county executive and the Department of Public Works to allocate the necessary funding to fix the road,” Mills said in a press release. “The road is in deplorable condition, one of the absolute worst in the county. The county executive has ignored this roadway for far too long and it must be addressed this year, no excuses.”
“I hear from residents every single day about this roadway,” Mills said in the press release. “They deserve a safe and reliable road and shouldn’t have to beg for one or feel ignored.”
About 10 years ago, Springville Boston Road from Route 39 to Middle Road was milled and repaved. From Middle to Genesee roads Springville Boston Road was recycled, where the current pavement is removed and ground up to be used as the aggregate in the new pavement. That was the last time the road received any substantial work.
“It’s the worst road in Erie County, the [Department of Public Works] Commissioner said that,” Mills said. “People are driving on the other side of the road to avoid holes … what we have on Springville Boston Road is very, very serious.”
Mills has “beat up on [Poloncarz] verbally” regarding the road and said he hopes to start phasing the road this construction season. With roughly 3,000 cars traveling Springville Boston Road daily, Mills said the county needs to fix the road correctly, which includes pulling up the road and repaving.
“The county executive is trying to ignore the fact that these roads have to be fixed … he’s playing with people’s public safety,” Mills said. “It’s a bad road and these people pay taxes.”
If ever Route 219 is closed, Springville Boston Road becomes the main arterial to the northern part of Erie County.
According to Deputy Commissioner of Highway for the Erie County Department of Public Works Bill Geary, the culverts will undergo reconstruction this spring, which he said needs to happen before the road can be repaved. He noted the road was rated a 3 out of 10 on the county’s scale, adding that roads typically get looked at seriously when they reach a 5. Geary said the county will be reassessing the road this summer, after the culverts are completed.
Geary is expected to be appointed Commissioner of Public Works after John Loffredo retires this month, Mills said.
“Geary is a bright star … he’s a nice, young guy who listens,” Mills said. “We worked together and looked at this road … all the engineering has been done.”
Mills said the county needs to fix the road, and the sooner they do it the less expensive it will be. He estimated it will be roughly $6 million to repave the nine mile stretch of Springville Boston Road, but that number will rise the longer they let it deteriorate. This year, he said, he would like to be able to get four miles done, beginning at Cascade Drive and moving north.
“There are school buses and emergency service vehicles on that road … plus the people who live there. This is going to continue to fester.” Mills said. “The county executive needs to wrap his arms around this thing and treat it like a business … and manage it.”
Geary estimates it will cost about $500,000 per mile to repave the road and has personally driven the road, along with members of his crew who have been patching what they can during the warmer days.
“It’s not deplorable, it’s not unsafe,” Geary said. “My staff’s been down there patching … we had the drainage engineer down there, the culvert engineer … we don’t want any surprises.”
Work on the culverts has to be completed before the road can be repaved, Geary said, adding that “just shy” of $2 million allocated by Poloncarz during the budget balance is being used to restructure the culverts.
The 3,000 cars per day is less than some other roads in the county that also need work done, Geary said, and some of those roads are also in need of resurfacing.