Interstate 86 Work near Salamanca
Salamanca, NY - Back in May we asked you to identify the worst road in Western New York and your choice came in loud and clear as to what it was. That would be Interstate 86 or the Southern Tier Expressway near Salamanca in Cattaraugus County.
It turns out the D-O-T was well aware of the issues and a rather large construction project is underway.
DOT Spokeswoman Susan Surdej now says November is the expected finish date for this paving project on the roughly 13 mile stretch of I - 86 from Salamanca west to Steamburg.
The engineers and contractors are well aware it takes a beating with harsh winter weather and heavy truck traffic. That is why there were all the "Rough Road" signs in that area.
This is a big project worth about 29 million dollars. It involves the milling or grinding of the old deteriorated road surface. It would replace it with layers of paving.
They are also working on 12 bridges which cross over the highway. Some of that work involves major re-decking of the spans and new support structures. In addition there is some drainage work to make sure slush and ice does not build up on the road surface.
This is a priority project for the DOT in this region and they realized it was getting bad from all the complaints.
Chris Noonan of Buffalo drives through that area at times. She says "It was always very bumpy and a lot of holes, potholes. I'm glad they're working on it. Glad that's gonna be smooth and done soon."
The DOT's Surdej says "We have received complaints about the pothole situation on that stretch of I-86 and that's exactly why it was a priority to get this project started. So we're very happy with the progress that we've made. We have a good contractor out there and we are making good progress."
They have done some partial paving on the Eastbound lanes. One lane is open on that stretch approaching Salamanca and it is a much smoother ride. There will be another layer of paving.
On the west-bound lanes it is still quite bumpy. They are still doing some patching here and there prior to the actual paving work for those lanes which will begin in August.
Again this particular paving project should be done for the most part in November. Surdej says they are pretty much on schedule according to the DOT.
This project had been delayed a bit in the past because of a dispute between the state and the Seneca Nation. I - 86 crosses through their territory and the Senecas and the state had to work out a certain fee payment for the construction on their land. That's why motorists may see some limited work in 2014 as well.