Rolling into autumn has meant more than the debut of colorfully decorated trees; it has also signaled the finale to several city street projects.
Public Works Superintendent Brett Frank reviewed the list of work at or near completion during this week’s City Council meeting.
As you may have noticed, Bank Street, Chandler Avenue, Ross Street and Richmond Avenue are looking pretty smooth these days with resurfacing done at those sites; and sidewalks have been — or will be by next week — installed along Seneca and Columbia avenues and Fisher and Chase parks, Frank said.
Richmond is still getting some finishing touches with new sidewalks and Americans with Disabilities Act-mandated ramps at each intersection, he said.
Councilman Bob Bialkowski asked why the pile of concrete and road debris was still in the middle of the parking area in front of the state School for the Blind. That material will be removed and the area cleaned up, Frank said, however, the city will not be repaving it.
The state Department of Public Transportation is responsible for any paving, as it is state property, Frank said.
On the city’s east side, Harvester Avenue is coming along, but there is still rehabilitation work to do before final paving is completed, he said.
“So it's a work in progress on Harvester. There's just a lot of moving pieces to that. And once you've milled down eight inches, you find a lot of areas that really need to be addressed,” he said. “Within the next week or so we'll probably start paving driveway approaches to make everything easier for people getting in and out of their driveways. We're hoping end of next week to get a (base) coat which is truly powerful to get some sort of base pavement on that surface, which will cut down on a lot of the dust and debris and all that.”
Some work has to be done with the installation of drainage structures “before we can pave anything,” he said.
The contractor has a Dec. 14 deadline for full completion, he said.
Existing sidewalks are remaining in front of Harvester Center “as much as possible,” City Manager Rachael Tabelski said.
Earlier this summer, a few business owners voiced complaints about the seemingly slow progress being made in front of their sites at Harvester Center. Harvester had been dug up, pot-holed, bumpy and anything but customer-friendly, they said. Rob Credi, owner of The Pub Coffee Hub, estimated a revenue loss of 75 percent since the inception of the road work.
He had reached out to city management, Frank, and council members multiple times, Credi said, however, he more recently "kinda gave up on trying to get any kind of improvements to the temporary conditions."
"The road quality is still a disgrace," he said on Friday to The Batavian.
Although Frank said this week that he received two compliments from people associated with Harvester Avenue, Credi was obviously not one of them.
A parking lot across from his shop had been inaccessible due to a trench carved out directly in front of it. That issue has been resolved and customers once again gained access to it, Credi said. But that's when customers could even drive down the street, he said.
"We've had a couple incredibly bad days where they've more or less had trucks completely blocking the roadway for periods of time," he said. "Just total disregard."
Top Photo: A pile of road debris remains in the parking area in front of the state School for the Blind on Richmond Avenue, but will be removed and cleaned up eventually, city officials say; road construction on Harvester Avenue is also gradually moving toward completion for a December deadline. Meanwhile, businesses are open at Harvester Center. Photos by Howard Owens. Above, one of the days when the road was blocked by construction vehicles and hampered business access. Photo by Rob Credi.