Locally elected officials are calling on the state to take over maintenance of two badly deteriorated but vital corridors in Lackawanna.

With the city facing myriad financial challenges as a result of a strained tax base, both South Park Avenue and Ridge Road will continue to crumble unless the state steps in, said State Sen. Tim Kennedy, whose district includes the two roadways.

Kennedy was joined by Lackawanna Mayor Geoffrey Szymanski, city lawmakers and Assemblyman Michael Kearns in calling for the state lawmakers to vote on legislation that would empower the state to take over the maintenance of the roads. South Park Avenue and Ridge Road see large volumes of commercial and residential traffic daily.

“These critical routes – which connect residents and visitors to key local assets like Our Lady of Victory Basilica, the Botanical Gardens and our burgeoning waterfront – are in serious need of improvement, but financial challenges facing the city have severely limited resources available for road repairs,” Kennedy said.

To assist Lackawanna, Kennedy has introduced legislation that would redesignate South Park Avenue and Ridge Road as state highways. That would require the state to take responsibility for their restoration, as well as for snow removal and maintenance.

Destinations such as the Botanical Gardens and Our Lady of Victory Basilica rely on South Park and Ridge Road for access, as does commercial traffic heading for Route 5 or the New York State Thruway to deliver materials to area companies.

Kennedy’s bills would provide the city with much-needed financial relief while helping to ensure South Park Avenue and Ridge Road are rehabilitated and well-maintained for both residents and travelers.

email: hmcneil@buffnews.com

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