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Thruway Authority to spend millions on roads, bridges & wind turbines

A view from under one of the wind turbines.
WBFO News file photo
A view from under one of the wind turbines.

The New York State Thruway Authority will be spending around $200-million dollars this year in Western New York on roads, bridges and windmills.  Thruway Authority Division Director Tom Pericak said the highway system handled the winter weather pretty well this season, but wear and tear is requiring some major projects. 

Pericak said travelers will see work going on across the region. 

Some will be small repairs, but other projects will require major work, like paving projects between Batavia and LeRoy and between Dunkirk and Westfield.

Work will run into next year, while this year should see the completion of work on the South Bridges, including work on the southbound bridge.

Much of this road and bridge work involves thicker pavement which Pericak says has proven to be more lasting.

Pericak said the big project is on the north end of Grand Island.

"The biggest of those will be on the North Grand Island Bridges. We've been working the last several years on the South Bridges.  Later this year, in late May we expect to put out to bid a project... $70-million project to rehabilitate both of the bridges, the substructure on both of the north bridges and replace the deck on the southbound North Bridge," said Pericak. 

Wind turbines will also be constructed at five-toll plazas between Buffalo and the Pennsylvania State Line.

The turbines will eventually provide enough electricity to run the plazas.

Mike Desmond is one of Western New York’s most experienced reporters, having spent nearly a half-century covering the region for newspapers, television stations and public radio. He has been with WBFO and its predecessor, WNED-AM, since 1988. As a reporter for WBFO, he has covered literally thousands of stories involving education, science, business, the environment and many other issues. Mike has been a long-time theater reviewer for a variety of publications and was formerly a part-time reporter for The New York Times.