LITTLE VALLEY – The Cattaraugus County Public Works Department was working on one of its last major paving projects of the construction season on Friday – Plato Road in the towns of Ellicottville and East Otto.
The highway program was roughly on track in early October after rain for nearly three weeks in July caused delays – often by contractors who couldn’t pave elsewhere in the rain.
Only one road in the 2021 paving program was not completed due to the weather delay, East Hill Road in the towns of Franklinville and Lyndon.
“This will be the first to come out next year,” said Bill Fox, director of engineering at Public Works.
Last month, a contractor carried out a recycling project on the pavement. It consists of grinding the existing pavement and adding stone, oils and a binder before rolling the new surface. After the road has healed for about three weeks, the road is paved.
“We’re doing more recycling projects,” Fox said. “It’s a good treatment for many of our roads. It eliminates a lot of road imperfections and is a good base for paving.
West River Road in the towns of Olean and Allegany was another recycling project. It has since been blackened and scratched. The complaint now is not the rough road, but that it is so smooth that it leads to speeding tickets between Allegany and Olean.
“It’s very fluid,” Fox agreed, noting that a county lawmaker suggested that the sheriff install radar on the road to deter speeding.
Fox said the public works department was able to do a little more paving than usual this year, thanks to the additional funding provided in the 2021 budget. By putting additional funds for roads in the budget, the DPW may have started planning earlier than if lawmakers had waited until March to find additional funds.
Fox said the county was able to complete about 22 miles of large paving projects this year – slightly more than usual. The paving program totaled $ 7 million this year.
The other 35 miles of road were either chip and sealer projects or Nova Chip, a 3/4 inch bitumen coating.
There was also more routine maintenance to try to prevent new roads from turning into bad roads that will end up costing more money in the future, Fox said. “If we postpone maintenance, we will have more bad roads. “
One example was the Nova chip paving this summer from Chapel Hill Road in Humphrey and Allegany. The road appeared to be in good condition, having been paved a few years ago. The 3/4 inch pavement will add many years to the life of the pavement, Fox said.
Cattaraugus County has about 400 miles of county roads and hundreds of bridges for which it is responsible.
There was only one bridge on the program this summer, the Leon 8 Bridge on County Road 6 in the City of Leon. It was to reopen on Friday. “We did bridge maintenance and resurfacing” instead of building more bridges this year, Fox explained.
“We’ve always had a very aggressive bridge program,” he said. “Depending on legislative needs and wants, we are moving from a heavy bridge program to one where we will pave more roads. “