Weekly Feature



2012-07-26 / Front Page

Officials push for work to start on Zurbrick Road

by COLLEEN M. FARRELL Editor


Cheektowaga Supervisor Mary Holtz, state Sen. Tim Kennedy, and Depew Mayor Steven Hoffman address the stalled work on Zurbrick Road. The project has been in the works for 10 years. Work could start later this summer. 
Photo by Timothy T. LudwigPurchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com Cheektowaga Supervisor Mary Holtz, state Sen. Tim Kennedy, and Depew Mayor Steven Hoffman address the stalled work on Zurbrick Road. The project has been in the works for 10 years. Work could start later this summer. Photo by Timothy T. LudwigPurchase color photos at www.BeeNews.com James Burst has lived on Zurbrick Road for 40 years. For most of those years, his view from his front door was a picturesque one of Cayuga Creek.

For the last four, though, it’s been one of concrete barriers and fluorescent orange barricades.

In addition to being unsightly, and unsafe, Burst is also concerned about the effect on the residential street’s property values.

“Who’s going to buy a house from you with barricades in the middle of the street, with no idea when the road is going to be fixed whatsoever?”

Burst isn’t alone in his frustration. On Tuesday, he was part of a press conference called by State Sen. Tim Kennedy, who, along with Cheektowaga Supervisor Mary Holtz, Depew Mayor Steven Hoffman, and Depew Village Board member Jules Pecora, urged the state Department of Environmental Conservation to stick to its timeline for doing remediation work along the creek bed. That was expected to begin this summer, but has not.

“My patience is running out on this project,” Hoffman said.

The lag is more than an inconvenience to residents, Kennedy said. It’s also an issue of safety and declining property values. Plus, construction costs continue to rise, he said.

“Unfortunately around here we don’t have a problem with getting projects completed. We have a problem with getting projects started,” Kennedy said.

The residential street has been open solely to local traffic since late 2009, when a portion of the road collapsed.

The street has been in need of repair since at least 2001, but when work began, contaminated soil was discovered along the creek. That needs to be cleaned up before any repairs can be made.

The road is owned by the Town of Cheektowaga and the Village of Depew, with a portion of the bank owned by Erie County.

“This has been a multi-layered bureaucratic mess,” Kennedy said.

But there’s been some progress, officials noted.

“This is the first time we’ve seen some hope of something happening here,” said Holtz, who has been supervisor for five years.

The DEC is in the process of awarding the bid for the clean-up work, according to a spokesman from Kennedy’s office. Work could still start this summer.

email: cfarrell@beenews.com

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