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William Street, an example of poor paving workmanship
By Lee Chowaniec
Feb 28, 2011, 10:02
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An agreement was reached between the Town of Lancaster and the Erie County Department of Public Works whereby William Street, from Transit Road to Lake Avenue, would undergo a waterline project sponsored by the town and where that section of road would be paved over by the county.

The paving project was completed sometime in October 2010 and anyone travelling the road will find it roller coaster bumpy, intersections in great despair and a road section cave in near Transit Road, east of Wal-Mart, where a waterline box with two isolated valves sit below the surface of the road. Waterline boxes are generally situated in off road right-a-ways but there is no right-away room at this location.

Resident Mike Fronczak recently commented at a Lancaster Town Board meeting on the poor workmanship that has taken place on the re-paving of William Street and especially on the sunken section of road where the waterline box is located. “The road is disintegrating there now and I believe someone is holding bond money for the project and should be held responsible for the repair.”

Town Engineer Harris informed Fronczak that the pavement was not done by the waterline contractors and their performance bond would not or should hold up to correct the paving issues. “The pavement was done by the Erie County Department of Public Works and if the pavement is not holding up the correction should come from them because it is their road.”

“So then who would we call to take care of this,” asked Fronczak?

“You could call the County field office in Clarence,” Harris told Fronczak. “I don’t have their number with me but if you call my office I can get it to you.”

Fronczak: “The new pavement between Transit Road and Lake Avenue is atrocious. It’s like riding on a roller coaster and there are potholes already. I can’t imagine what it will be like in the spring.”

The county work that was performed at the waterline box section was slipshod and appears lacking in compaction standard. The pavement at the intersection at Lake Avenue (south) and William Street is broken up and in deplorable shape. It should also be noted that Lake Avenue south of William is a county road.

It should also be noted that much of the paving was done when the weather was cold and rainy; near the time of year when the State recommends all paving projects end.

New town standards

The town recently approved a resolution to increase the thickness of the pavement top course and the binder course from one (1) inch and two (2) inches respectfully to 1.5 inches and 2.5 inches. The resolution also calls for the additional use of a geotextile fabric under the sub-base course on all new roads in order to achieve a better and more consistent roadway product at the time of initial construction and to better maintain the integrity of the Town’s highways over the long term. The amount of stone in the sub-base will also be increased from eight (8) inches to twelve (12) inches.

New road projects will have the follow requirements:

• Fabric covering ground to prevent stones from sub-base to penetrate into the ground.
• 12” of stone
• 4” of base asphalt
• 2-1/2” of binder (asphalt and stone no larger than 2” in size)
• 1-1/1” of top coat (asphalt and stone mix with stone no larger than 1” in size)

The new standards are to be modified and set by the Town Highway Superintendent and the Town Engineer.

Resident Mike Fronczak asked whether this would be the right time to address compaction standards as well. “Within two years, the new subdivision roads next to mine have roads where travelling over them is like riding a roller coaster and where there are major bumps in the road between the DI’s.” I feel that compaction standards should also be set as I believe that is the reason for the William Street pavement sinking in the waterline box is located.”

Fronczak was told by Town Engineer Robert Harris that the standards for Lancaster on compaction are no different than with any other state municipality.

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