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Cattaraugus County road work at mercy of the weather

LITTLE VALLEY – As soon a Mother Nature allows, road work in Cattaraugus County will start in full force, according to Public Works Commissioner Joseph Pillittere. But weather has really put a damper on the efforts of his crews so far.

With 14 projects on the docket, the construction season is looking rather ambitious for Pillittere and his crew, but he is more than confident that, with some cooperation from the elements, roads in the county will once again be to the travelers’ liking.

“We do have a very dedicated crew of men and women that work very hard every day to make sure we are able to get the job done,” he said.

This year, two county roads will be milled down and repaved: County Road 7 (Pigeon Valley Road) between Mansfield and Conewango, and County Road 18, between Franklinville and Humphrey.

The programs each carries a cost estimated around $1.2 million. Work for the projects is expected to start in the first part of May, weather permitting.

“We will do everything we can to start road work on May 1,” Pillittere said.

Roads that have been done in recent years and are in good shape will be topped with an asphalt type treatment called NovaChip this year. Bowen Road and Cold Spring Road in the Randolph region, West Perrysburg Road in the Markhams region and Maple Grove Road in the Franklinville region will all see the topping, Pillittere said. If temperatures cooperate, those roads will be done in the middle two weeks of May, he added.

Other projects include a road alignment in New Albion to aid in a better sight distance, bridge rehabilitation in Allegany and several culvert replacement projects.

On top of road construction costs, the Cattaraugus County DPW saw an increase in almost every area of the winter budget expectations, Pillittere said. Because of the cold and what seemed like never-ending snow, the crews worked hard to keep roads passable throughout the county, he said.

For the months of January through March of 2014, wages were up from 2013 costs by over 26 percent at $539,141.68. Overtime went down almost 23.5 percent, from a 2013 level of $112,573.03 to 2014’s $86,198.72. That drop is directly related to the March 2013 snowfall amounts, Pillittere said.