Council looks to catch up on city road repairs

The City of Amsterdam is looking to double up on its road repairs this year after last year’s road repairs failed to materialize due to funding problems. At a committee meeting on Monday, Engineer Rich Miller discussed with council members a preliminary list of 22 areas in need of re-pavement. According to Miller, $1.6 million is available for road repairs this year. The city will make use of New York State’s Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS), which will reimburse the city’s expenditures. Miller said he will look to either add or remove roads after receiving cost estimates from contractors.

The preliminary list includes:

  • Romeyn Ave from Market to Glen
  • McGibbon St from Market to dead-end
  • Evelyn Ave from Harvard to Greenwood
  • Jonathon Ln from Clizbe to Regina
  • Peter Ln from Clizbe to Regina
  • Bylina Ln from Clizbe to Regina
  • Frances St from Locust to Clizbe
  • Fourth St from Forest to Sloane
  • Storrie St from Brookside to Market
  • Elizabeth St from Prospect to Storrie
  • Second St from Forest to Clizbe
  • Sanford Ave from Law to Clizbe
  • Caroline St from West Main to Phillips
  • Pershing Rd from Coolidge to Romeyn
  • Coolidge Pl from Van Dyke to Romeyn
  • Van Dyke Ave from Lindbergh to Northampton
  • Steadwell Ave from the city line to West Main
  • Forbes St from Schuyler to Dean
  • Bunn St from Market to Lindbergh
  • Pysanka Circle
  • Amsterdam Free Library parking lot
  • City Hall parking lot

Alderman Jim Martuscello said he would like to see Destefano St. added, citing increased usage of traffic from drivers traveling to and from Barkley School who are looking to avoid the intersection of Destefano and Route 5s. Alderman Rodney Wojnar said he would like to see Fourth Ave near the Elks Club added.

Council members also discussed the condition of Church St, which Miller described as “shot”. He said that under CHIPS guidelines, only streets that have not been serviced under the state program in over ten years are eligible for reimbursement. Miller said that work on the street was last completed in 2008 and therefore would not be eligible until next year. However, he said he would see if the state would make an exception.

“I don’t know if there’s any flexibility there or not,” said Miller. “If they do say yes, then it’s basically – start at one end and rip the whole road up. Basically it would be closed for the summer.”

Miller said he was not pleased with the job of the contractor who worked on the road in 2008. He explained, “When the road was re-constructed, they basically did nothing to the road other than put in some new catch basins and new piping and stuff like that. They basically just went over the top with an inch and a half of asphalt. The sub-basin on that road is non-existent.”

Alderman Bill Baaki asked if the defects in the road were noticed more than six years ago. Miller said he didn’t think they were, as the problems developed slowly. Baaki said the city may have a case for a breach of the construction contract as there is a six-year statute of limitations.

One resident of Church Street who attended the meeting said that large trucks speeding on the road were contributing to the deterioration of the road. Council members discussed the possibility of staging weigh stations at the city line to catch overweight trucks. At at subsequent committee meeting on Wednesday, Police Chief Greg Culick said that his department will be adding a radar speed checking sign on the road which will also record the times and speeds of all vehicles passing through the road which will help the department know when to schedule patrols to catch speeders.

Tim Becker

Tim Becker is the owner of Anthem Websites Inc. which publishes The Compass. He serves as both editor and a writer.