Lisa Cooper has lived in fear for the past five years on the closed stretch of Tonawanda Creek Road in the Town of Clarence.
"An ambulance can get into a driveway. But, a fire truck can't. So they'd have to spend the time to back all the way in or all the way out," she explained. So, in the case of an emergency, crucial time could be wasted trying to maneuver an emergency vehicle.
That's mostly why she's been frustrated since 2014 when officials closed the road just down the street from her home.
"My youngest doesn't even know what it's like to get picked up from school at the house because we have to walk to the corner."
There are also the problematic drivers who Cooper said ignore the warning a few hundred feet back from where the road collapsed. "There's still people to this day that try and drive down here and then they have to turn around in someone's driveway."
The road is being included in a larger project overseen by Niagara County. According to Commissioner of Public Works, Garret Meal, the project is currently out for bid. He said they will chose a contractor later this week. Drivers can expect work --in the way of road stabilization--to begin later this winter, and paving to begin in the spring.
Clarence town officials hope so. The county road closure has impacted nearby town side streets. "In a lot of cases heavy duty trucks, box trucks, etc are pounding on these roads," said Clarence Highway Superintendent, James Dussing. "The increased traffic certainly blew a lot of the shoulders out, and wrecked the integrity of the roads," he added.
We asked Meal what was taking so long for construction to being. He said securing state and federal funding for projects of this scope takes time.