COLDEN, N.Y. -- Residents in Colden and Concord noticed potholes forming on a stretch of route 240 within days of a recently completed paving project, and now patchwork already covers the brand-new road.
So what went wrong?
William Geary, Erie County’s newly appointed Public Works commissioner, said he’s aware of the problem.
"What happened was the mix [of asphalt] is drier, it didn't have as much oil as we would like and what should be in the mix,” Geary said by phone Saturday night.
That dry mix caused what he calls “porous” parts on the pavement. He's already had to meet with the contractors involved in the $3.3 million project. So far, Geary said, all parties are cooperating.
"We are not going to accept a product that doesn't meet what we paid for,” he said.
Geary says about 3,000 people drive that section of 240 daily.
Legislator Joseph Lorigo, whose district State Road falls in, said drivers are frustrated. He learned of the problem after getting several calls last week.
"The tax money they pay, they expect to have serviceable, safe roads, and they don't,” Lorigo said. "They're going to have to go in, rip off the entire top layer, and redo it, which in my opinion, you should really get in right the first time.”
Geary says what happened with the asphalt materials is rare, but recognizes that doesn't make this any better. Meanwhile Lorigo says this is an example of how Erie County’s rural roads get neglected.
Both Geary and Lorigo say that stretch will have to be re-paved.
“But it's not going to be to the cost of the Erie County taxpayers,” Geary said.
Geary said the county is trying to settle the finances with it contractors, however there is a team of county attorneys should that cooperation suddenly end.
Lorigo says, if there's a silver lining, it's that a longer stretch of State Road may ultimately get new pavement than was originally slated to.