Erie County Legislators call attention to poor conditions of county roads

Posted at 1:10 PM, Sep 20, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-20 19:07:11-04

County Republican leaders publicly asked for Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz to push for road construction as long as the weather permits, especially in rural areas that they claim have been ignored.

"This isn't a political issue, this is a prioritization issue," said Erie County Legislator Ed Rath. Rath, along with Chairman John Mills and Joseph Lorigo say the safety of county roadways has been discussed at length with Poloncarz, but to no resolution.

Chairman Mills showed a petition in his district of Southern Erie County that garnered more than 100 signatures in support of road repairs. Mills says there's money available for repairs, citing a drop in salt, oil and asphalt prices. He says these repairs have all been approved, but have been halted by Poloncarz. 

"People walk these roads, ride their bikes and when the shoulders are nonexistent and crumbling it's a safety hazard," said Lorigo. Among the problems Republican legislators cited were numerous potholes, bumps from previous paving projects and crumbling roadways. 

Mills, Rath and Lorigo provided this list of roads they want repairs on. They say if repairs can't be completed by winter, they at least want some work done.

County Executive Mark Poloncarz claims he is using all the money that was allocated in this year's budget for repairs - including the money saved by cheaper asphalt, salt and replacement snow plows.  Poloncarz explained that there is not enough money to fix all the problem areas and money has to be spent on the highest traffic volume roads first.

However, residents in areas like Concord fear the money situation could make things worse.

"Someone is going to die when a wheel breaks off from a motorcycle or car on these nasty roads," said Bill Papich, owner of Concord Automotive, referring to Springville-Boston Road.

7 Eyewitness New reporter Ed Reilly spent the day in Concord talking with residents and officials about the problem.

Below is the county roads assessment, rating several roadways in the county below ideal standard.