IRVING – Elected officials from across Chautauqua and Cattaraugus County joined U.S. Representative Tom Reed Thursday to call on New York to fix the state’s crumbling infrastructure.
Reed, alongside Chautauqua County Executive George Borrello and Assemblyman Joe Giglio, primarily blamed Governor Andrew Cuomo for the lack of attention to roads through Western New York.
Specifically, Reed said the Governor has failed to address road conditions in areas that surround the Seneca Nation.
Citing the possibility of injury to motorists and damage to vehicles, the Congressman served the Governor and other DOT officials with a formal letter of defective conditions.
“Given what I have seen and the outcry from the public, the defective condition along I-90 in the Seneca Nation is a real threat to the safety and well-being of the traveling public,” said Reed. “We are serving prior written notice of the defective condition of this roadway so that if and when, God forbid, someone gets injured or killed as a result of his defective condition – there is no question of the liability and those who should be held accountable.”
The group spoke during a press conference at the Mile Strip Road overpass above a bustling I-90.
Chautauqua County Executive George Borrello travels the highway almost daily. He said drivers pay to use the roadway so they should be in top shape.
“This is another example of where the governor has put politics above people,” said Borrello. “The Seneca Nation has a long history of partnering with Chautauqua County – they are great partners with us. The governor needs to sit down, set aside the issues he has and truly negotiate.”
Assemblyman Joe Giglio added that rough roads are not only a problem on I-90, but also on parts of I-86 in Cattaraugus County.
“This is the gateway to New York,” explained Giglio. “The agreements have been in place and they need to be adhered to. Waiting it out because of things that have nothing to do with any dispute can be dangerous and God knows who were going to lose. It’s just unconscionable.”