Potholes on Lakeview Road in Hamburg (WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman)

Pothole Repairs Continuing in Erie County

Dry weather means better roads...for now

Mike Baggerman
February 13, 2018 - 7:00 pm
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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WBEN) - A dry week is giving public works departments an opportunity to fix the various potholes around the region.

The City of Buffalo spent most of Tuesday repairing the potholes on Delaware Avenue, one of the main roads in the city. 

"Niagara Street has been one that we need to address," Buffalo Public Works Commissioner Steve Stepniak told WBEN. "It's been addressed. Also on Bailey (and) Main Street. Those are areas that need to be addressed and are being addressed on a regular basis."

After that, the focus for the crews is on the side streets and residential neighborhoods. However, they don't monitor them as closely as the main roads. Instead, the rely primarily on the public's 3-1-1 calls. 

"That goes directly to our pothole crews," Stepniak added. " When people call those in we can address those quickly."

The City of Buffalo has a full-time crew fixing the potholes during the winter. Stepniak said they have four-to-six trucks on the streets during each weekday.

LISTEN: Buffalo DPW Commissioner Steve Stepniak

Potholes - Steve Stepniak RAW.mp3

"Last year we had milder temperatures and the year before that we had milder temperatures," he said. "(This year,) there's been a lot of precipitation and quite a few freeze-thaw cycles which have added to the pothole totals throughout the entire region."

Erie County's Public Works Department places an emphasis on surrounding communities. They spent part of Tuesday repairing potholes on Lakeview Road and Lake Avenue in Hamburg. 

"It's been challenging not only on those roads but throughout the county," Charlie Sickler, Deputy Commissioner of Highways for Erie County, said. "There's numerous roads that have potholes and issues. The only material currently available, and its standard practice...is to use a cold patch material."

Cold patch is only a temporary fix, according to Sickler. The hot asphalt material is not available and isn't available until the warmer weather arrives. 

Erie County divvies itself up into five different districts, with each district in charge of reporting potholes. 

"We struggle at times to keep up with the number of potholes that pop up," he said. "Once you fix them it's really not a permanent fix so we're back as soon as a few days or a week after we fix it...It's a constant problem for us."

The county has between 30-35 people on staff who are split into different shifts.

"You've probably got 20 people during a normal shift (midnight to 8 a.m.)," Sickler said. "Then we start up again around noon and work until about 8 p.m."

Potholes in Erie County can be reported by clicking HERE, visiting the county offices, calling 858-7966, or by emailing [email protected]

LISTEN: Charlie Sickler, Deputy Commissioner of Highways for Erie County

Potholes - Charlie Sickler RAW.mp3

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