NIAGARA FALLS – The city spent about $2.5 million repaving and repairing roads this year, with another roughly $3.7 million in the works for road projects next year.
With this year’s paving season wrapping up with work on Van Rensselaer Avenue in DeVeaux, 41 city streets were repaved by city crews, Mayor Paul A. Dyster said, standing at the intersection of Van Rensselaer and Macklem avenues Wednesday morning.
More than 200,000 square yards of paving on 41 streets was completed, the mayor said.
“I’m happy to report that after several years of concerted effort, no one is calling us the pothole capital of the world anymore,” Dyster said.
The city used a total of $1.36 million in casino funds for road repaving this year, Dyster said. The rest of the funding came through the state’s Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program, or CHIPS funding.
The city did two rounds of paving this year – an initial $1.1 million round – funded solely with CHIPS funding, then a second phase once a deal resolving the dispute between the state and the Seneca Nation of Indians over casino revenues was announced.
One project had been planned in the second phase but was not completed: a section of Military Road south of Niagara Falls Boulevard to Cayuga Drive.
That project was not done because it involved a different scope of work than most of the other paving jobs, said Public Works Director David L. Kinney.
The city is also looking at working with the state on the project, under which the city would pay 20 percent of the project costs with the state picking up the rest.
Whether or not that happens depends on how much federal funding is passed through for the statewide Transportation Improvement Program, Dyster said. The city has projected using capital funds in the next three years for the Military Road work.
The city is also planning to complete what’s called “full-depth reconstruction” of several roads next year. Those include:
• Tenth Street from Lockport Street to North Avenue
• Macklem Avenue from Lewiston Road to College Avenue
• New Road from Porter Road to Packard Road
Funding for the 10th Street project is already in place because the city borrowed $850,000 for it. The cost of the Macklem Avenue reconstruction will be approximately $950,000.
The city expects there to be increased traffic on New Road next year with the city school district’s renovated athletic fields behind Niagara Falls High School, Dyster said.
While the list of streets to be repaved next year has not been finalized, Dyster outlined a number of candidates: 23rd Street from Lockport Street to Tennessee Avenue; 38th Street from Royal Avenue to Packard Road; 68th Street from Lindbergh Avenue to Girard Avenue; 76th Street from Frontier Avenue to Niagara Falls Boulevard; the entire length of James Avenue; and the entire length of Norwood Avenue.
Most of the spending on projects for 2014 is subject to the City Council’s authorization of next year’s budget.
The mayor has also proposed spending $750,000 on sidewalk repair next year.