Remilling to Repair Road Surface, Road to Remain Open

By Eva Potter

Anyone who drove north from Ellicottville to Springville last winter will attest to the treacherous road conditions on Route 219 between Beaver Meadows Road in the town of Ellicottville to Peters Road in Ashford (where many cars turn to access the beginning of the expressway portion of Route 219).

The “rough road” signs were an understatement of dangerous conditions.

While driving this stretch of Route 219 riddled with potholes, it was survival of the nimblest. With potholes deep enough and wide enough to swallow a Buick, drivers were forced to play their own live version of Mario Kart, without all the fun prizes, while also watching for oncoming traffic doing the same. It was a catastrophe waiting to happen and the New York Department of Transportation agreed.

This section of roadway was not scheduled for maintenance until 2016 and though road crews tried their best to keep these holes patched, safety concerns made it necessary to begin the project in 2014.

Susan Surdej, assistant to the director of New York State’s Department of Transportation Region 5 in Buffalo, said, “In early spring, it was obvious that the pavement on this stretch of Route 219 had seriously deteriorated due to the harsh winter conditions. This deterioration resulted in extremely rough road conditions, which we knew had to be addressed. DOT immediately began investigating advancing a pavement repair project to address these safety concerns.”

The project is currently in process to be awarded to the bidder.

“Project start will depend on when the contract officially is awarded, but the intention is to do the work this construction season,” said Surdej.

No detours are planned and traffic will be maintained on-site through construction of the 7-mile section.

Surdej explained, “One side will be done followed by the other side, so motorists can expect closed lanes and slowed conditions, but the plan is for the road to remain open.”

Road construction crews will be milling off 1 ½ inches of pavement and overlaying it with hot mixed asphalt pavement. The Route 219 project is estimated to cost $910,000.

While no completion date was requested, asphalt plants shut down when the air and surface temperatures drop and the asphalt mix cools too rapidly before it can be compacted to the optimal air content, typically by the end of November.