The continual sound and vibration caused by large trucks running over potholes and bumps on Church Street has motivated residents to call on both city and state officials to repair the street and crack down on speeding and over-weight vehicles. On Tuesday, State Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara and New York State Department of Transportation officials met with Mayor Michael Villa, Aldermen Chad Majewski and Paul Ochal, along with other city and state officials to see the problem first hand and discuss solutions.
Santabarabara said that he will be requesting a portion of approximately $65 million set aside in the state budget for “extreme winter recovery.”
“[Department of Transportation] has to work that number down to what Amsterdam is getting,” said Santabarbara. “Certainly my request is to put in there for the money to get this done. With this tour now, everybody’s got a lot more information than they did before. “
Villa has said previously that the cost of repairing the road could be at least $1 million.
According to City Engineer Rich Miller, work on the street back in 2008 was not done properly, leading to the current condition. According to Miller, funds received each year from the state’s Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS) can only be used on streets that have not been repaired in over 10 years.
Santabarbara said that he hopes to discuss the issue further with state officials and meet with the city again within a few weeks.
One step already in place to address the problem is a radar-equipped speed limit sign. Amsterdam Police Chief Greg Culick has said he has increased patrols on the street and is also considering weigh stations to catch overweight trucks.
Church Street resident Cherylann Saul was present at the meeting and has spoken her concerns at several past common council meetings.
“We’ve been trying to lobby down there at all of the common council meetings, and trying to be respectful, I’m not yelling or screaming,” said Saul. “I’m just trying to get some attention, do what’s right for the city and this road.”