IRVING, N.Y. — The condition of a portion of the NYS Thruway that runs through the Seneca Nation of Indians territory is much worse than officials originally thought.
Since a September 25 agreement between NYS and the Senecas, NYS crews have been evaluating and repairing 14 miles of highway.
During this time, engineers also checked the concrete base of the roadway, and the news is not good.
Matthew Driscoll, Executive Director of the NYS Thruway Authority sent a letter to Seneca Nation President Rickey Armstrong detailing the work that will still need to be done. Here is a portion of that letter:
"Work also continues on a detailed engineering design report which I will share with you in the coming weeks, but in the interim, it has become abundantly clear from an engineering perspective that the underlying concrete base is in far worse condition than we had anticipated. In fact, we found that the concrete base of the roadway is crumbling and badly cracking in many locations, making it ineffective for our crews to simply pave over it. A new and durable asphalt driving surface requires a sound concrete base, and its current condition as confirmed by our engineers’ assessment will simply not allow for that. We have determined that completing the required repairs of the concrete base along with full asphalt pavement replacement is not achievable in the timeframe remaining this Fall. Therefore, the Thruway Authority will initiate a competitive bidding process to secure a contractor to perform the work in the Spring."
The Seneca Nation issued the following response:
"The Nation is aware of the condition of the Thruway and the extent, nature and timing of the necessary repairs. The approach outlined in Commissioner Driscoll's letter is included in the agreement we signed in September. The Nation will allow the Thruway Authority to proceed with the more extensive repairs, as agreed to, in order to ensure the safety of the traveling public."
In the meantime, crews will continue doing work on the sections that are deteriorated the most in preparation for the winter months. Line striping will also be applied.
A contractor will be able to begin work in the spring on a more extensive project that would require the removal of five inches of the roadway surface and repairs to the concrete base.
After the road portion of the work is complete, new guardrails will replace the old ones, ditches will be cleaned and new striping will be added.