MAYVILLE – It seems to have become a right of passage in New York State to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous potholes each spring and early summer, but this year the harsh winter was aided by winter weather hanging on until April. Despite that, the county continues to repair and upgrade county roads and bridges, according to Chautauqua County Executive George Borrello.
“We’ve had several projects underway, you’ve probably seen a lot of construction cones, a lot of orange and black out there as you watch construction going on,” Borrello said. “This was a particularly difficult year because winter lasted into April and we weren’t able to get a jump on it. Every year people certainly, their senses are heightened by the number of potholes and roads that need to be reconstructed.”
It may not look like progress is being made, but it is Borrello said.
“At the county level we are working on the county roads, we are certainly working on bridges and everything we can to improve the situation as much as possible,” he said. “It’s a very costly thing but we budget for it each year and it’s really not so much about the appearances, people think nothing has been done, but the reality is it was just a very harsh winter and that resulted in a lot worse conditions and a later start due to the weather.”
He said crumbling infrastructure has been a national concern but county officials and crews keep a sharp eye on bridges and roads.
“Here in Chautauqua County, we monitor bridges closely. We work with the state on that and anything that is a potential hazard is shut down and closed off. As you know, we are working on the Main Street Bridge right there in downtown Jamestown, reconstructing that. That will open in the fall,” he said.
Borrello assured county residents that the county’s highways and byways are being monitored and wouldn’t be accessible if they were not safe.
“Overall, I would say that, first of all, bridges are safe, secondly, any bridges that potentially need to be targeted to be shut down or partially shut down are being closely monitored and I’m confident in our staff, our DPS staff, and them ensuring the bridges are safe and usable and we are doing our due diligence to ensure that for the long-term,” Borrello said.