LITTLE VALLEY - As soon a Mother Nature allows, road work in Cattaraugus County will start in full force, according to Public Works Commissioner Joseph Pillittere, but weather has really put a damper on the efforts of his crews so far.
With 14 projects on the docket, the construction season is looking rather ambitious for Pillittere and his crew, but he is more than confident that, with some cooperation from the elements, roads in the county will once again be to the travelers' liking.
"We do have a very dedicated crew of men and women that work very hard every day to make sure we are able to get the job done," he said.
This year, those jobs will include two Type III project, complete rehabilitation of the roadway. To complete those, the roads are milled down and repaved. The roads that will receive that treatment over the summer are County Road 7 (Pigeon Valley Road) between Mansfield and Conewango, and County Road 18, between Franklinville and Humphrey. The programs each carry a cost estimated around $1.2 million. Work for the projects is expected to start in the first part of May, weather depending.
"We already have started the drainage portion of (Pigeon Valley Road)," Pillittere said. "We will do everything we can to start road work (as soon as possible)."
Roads that have been done in recent years and are in good shape will see topping with NovaChip this year. Bowen Road, and Cold Spring Road in the Randolph region, West Perrysburg Road in the Markhams region and Maple Grove Road in the Franklinville region will all see the topping, Pillittere said. If temperatures cooperate, those roads will be done in the middle two weeks of May, he continued.
Other projects include a road alignment in New Albion to aid in a better sight distance, bridge rehabilitation in Allegany and several culvert replacement projects.
Funding for the projects has come from several places, Pillittere said, with $3,104,000 funded through budget procedures, 2014 and 2015 CHIPs funding will fund about $2 million of the projects, with an additional $1.3 million from funds that were designated to other highway capital projects and never spent.
On top of road construction costs, the Cattaraugus County DPW saw an increase in almost every area of the winter budget expectations, Pillittere said. Because of the cold and what seemed like never-ending snow, the crews worked hard to keep roads passable throughout the county, and did it well, he said. For the months of January through March of 2014, wages were up from 2013 costs by over 26 percent at $539,141.68. Overtime went down almost 23.5 percent, from a 2013 level of $112,573.03 to 2014's $86,198.72. That drop is directly related to the Mach 2013 snowfall amounts, Pillittere said.