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FIX IT
WHAT NEEDS REPAIRING AROUND BUFFALO NIAGARA

THE PROBLEM

Driving on Lake Avenue in Blasdell from Route 5 to South Park Avenue, motorists come across three rail crossings in less than half a mile.

The first, with three tracks, is smooth sailing, thanks to a recent repaving. The second is equally easy, again thanks to a new paving job. The third, near Martin Avenue, is another matter.

That one "looks like a shot from the Mars lander," Fix It reader Leonard Jaworski wrote. "Why not COMPLETE the job?"

Although these three sets of tracks are very close to each other, they are owned by separate entities. The one Jaworski writes about is owned by Buffalo Southern Railway.

"We've never had a lot of complaints at Lake Avenue before because the other two crossings, before this year, were in a lot worse shape," said Bert Feasley, the railroad's vice president of operations. "That crossing is actually in prety good shape as it goes."

Still, Feasley said, crews would re-examine the crossing. "Whenever there's a complaint, we go by and take a look," he said. "If it needs blacktop patching, that is what we would do."

Right now, there are no plans for a complete rebuild of the crossing, he said. Buffalo Southern has other crossings, in worse shape, that are higher on the priority list to be replaced.

But he indicated that could change if more people complain about the crossing. "That's how they get upgraded on the priority list," he said.

Who's Responsible:: Bert Feasley, Buffalo Southern Railroad, 8600 Depot St., Eden, N.Y., 14057.

UPDATE:

Reader Stephanie McGinty wrote to say that the wretched stretch of South Lincoln Avenue in Orchard Park, which Fix It wrote about in June, was completed, "and they did a great job."

A tip of the hat to the Village of Orchard Park's director of Public Works, Paul Barker.

Fix It helps readers shine a light on smaller maintenance and safety issues that sometimes fall through the cracks of municipal government. Readers can submit items by writing to Fix It, c/o The Buffalo News, One News Plaza, Buffalo, N.Y., 14203, by calling the Fix It line at 849-6026, or by e-mailing fixit@buffnews.com.

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