Temporary fix to Church Street approved

Church Street residents could be seeing construction crews working on the road very soon, as the Amsterdam Common Council approved a resolution authorizing a $185,583 resurfacing project at Tuesday’s meeting. At the meeting, City Engineer Rich Miller said the work may start as early as next week with completion in about another week’s time.

However, the project is only a temporary fix and will be limited to resurfacing the traffic lanes. The city still plans to complete a major overhaul of the entire stretch of road spanning from Cornell Street to Clizbe Ave, which will also include replacement of manholes and drains, the addition of handicap accessible ramps, as well as work on the curbs and sidewalks along the “five corners” area.

In May, Senator George Amedore and Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara announced the city had been awarded New York State funding for the overhaul project totaling $1.9 million from two state offices, the Department of Transportation, and the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York.

Miller said Tuesday that those funds are available on a reimbursement basis, and that his office is currently working with the two state offices to complete the necessary paperwork.

According to Miller, funds for the temporary resurfacing project will come from unused funds borrowed for the 2016 road program. Miller said he is not sure if that money can be reimbursed through the state consolidated local street and highway improvement program (CHIPS), as the available reimbursement amount has already been rolled into the current road program.

At the meeting Alderman Jim Martuscello questioned Miller as to the necessity of the temporary fix.

“I went to see the mayor about this, I had a problem – of putting a road down, spending [$185,000] and then we’re going to tear it up next year,” said Martuscello. “I need you to tell us why we need to do this right now.”

“The road is a wreck,” responded Miller.  “People are complaining about it. The mayor has directed it to be done.”

Miller explained further, “Plowing is going to be miserable on it. Because of the way it’s bumpy and full of holes. Old patches are sticking up and everything else. There’s really no way to easily fix it without doing a complete milling job on it.”

He said that patching the road would tie up city crews for about a month and even then, he couldn’t guarantee how long the patches would last.

“It’s a lot easier to mill and pave then it is to patch it,” added Miller.

After questioning, Martuscello said he would vote for it, and the project was approved unanimously by the council.

Tim Becker

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