FALCONER - Chautauqua County Executive Greg Edwards and Chautauqua County Department of Public Facilities Director George Spanos have announced the Transportation Division is about to put its 2013 construction season into full swing.
Over the past several weeks, crews have been out working on winter clean up, ditching and patching potholes. In early May, crews will start the crack sealing program on county roads and will also be ditching, grading shoulders and doing extensive patching to prepare roads for resurfacing.
In June, the county will start into the main part of the highway resurfacing program. This will include chip sealing or oil and stone surface treatment and the resurfacing of over 85 miles of road throughout the county.
One big project the Chautauqua County Department of Public Facilities will be working on is the construction of Millennium Parkway. DPF has been designated as the acting Project Sponsor for this $6.3 million project. The new highway would link the New York State Thruway, N.Y. Route 60, N.Y. Route 5, and the Chadwick Bay Industrial Park in the city of Dunkirk and the towns of Dunkirk and Sheridan.
"We have worked for over seven years to get to this stage in the construction of a route for heavy truck traffic through Northern Chautauqua County enabling trucks to serve our growing manufacturing and agriculture businesses," Edwards said. "The increase in traffic has meant an increase in jobs and an improved economy, and the construction of the Millennium Parkway will improve safety, efficiency and reduce pollution while at the same time opening up the old Roblin Steel/Alumax property for even more development."
The Division of Transportation has also already begun its annual bridge repair and rehabilitation program for 2013. The department has crews dedicated to bridge repair and replacement for the construction season and it is scheduled to rehabilitate or replace approximately 12 structures throughout the county.
Part of the annual bridge maintenance occurs through contracting with the local fire departments for bridge washing to remove debris and salt from surfaces. The county will also be replacing two bridges under Federal MAP-21 funding. This program provides for funding at 80 percent Federal, 15 percent state, and 5 percent county and allows the county to replace some of its more costly bridges.
The construction season generally runs from April to November, and motorists are asked to watch for and be aware of construction crews working on the highways. Some construction projects will involve posted detours and work zones, and DPF asks for drivers' cooperation and patience in following and obeying posted signs and flaggers' directions.
"Please obey the work zone speeds and give our workers a brake," Spanos said. "They are out there for you, working to make your travels safer and more enjoyable."
The Chautauqua County Department of Public Facilities maintains 552 miles of road, 308 bridges and 258 culverts in Chautauqua County.
For more information about the county's 2013 Capital Projects visit www.co.chautauqua.ny.us/departments/dpf/transportation or contact the Department of Public Facilities at 661- 8400.