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CONSTRUCTION UNDER WAY TO SMOOTH OUT BUMPS ON 21/2-MILE STRETCH OF MAPLE ROAD IN AMHERST

The boom-boom-boom effect experienced by 27,000 vehicles in an average day on a 2.5-mile stretch of Maple Raad is going to end.

The jolts that seemed like anti-speed bumps on the busy county thoroughfare in the Town of Amherst actually were caused by heaving at the expansion joints of the road, Erie County Legislature Chairman Charles M. Swanick, D-Kenmore, said today.

"This road has been in horrendous condition," said Swanick. "As it continues to heave underneath, the road is in desperate need of repair."

Omer Construction Co. of Cheektowaga began repairs under a $638,000 contract last week and will complete the stretch of Maple between Millersport Highway and Hopkins Road in the next few weeks.

The money is part of $1.2 million in funding provided under the state budget.

Legislator Randi Cohen Kennedy, D-Amherst, said the heaving at the expansion joints is responsible for most complaints to her office.

"The road's in deplorable condition," she said. "I know because I drive it every day. It's particularly bad in front of Audubon Golf Course and Maple West Elementary School."

Maple will be totally reconstructed by 2000, Ms. Cohen Kennedy added.

Deputy Public Works Commissioner David Comerford said road workers will cut out deteriorated concrete in joint areas and replace it with asphalt.

Heavy traffic on Maple is a challenge.

"If people bear with us, we're doing a couple lanes at the time," said Comerford. "Just be careful out there."

The 1997 construction season, starting in the spring and stretching into the fall, will see the county spend about $11.5 million on road repairs, funded from a variety of sources. Comerford said 190 miles of suburban roads are receiving attention.

"The biggest thing on the county road is water," said Comerford. "We have open ditches and pipes and uneven topography. The drainage is a lot a bigger problem than in the city."

The real estate transfer tax -- the tax paid every time a property is sold -- netted $1.6 million for the Highway Division road repairs that began this month, he said.

Early this month, the Erie County Legislature approved using the money for repairs of more than 100 miles of county maintained roads on 36 different streets and roads in the suburbs.

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