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Extra funding from Albany to fix winter-damaged roads

WBFO News file photo

Local governments are getting some extra funding from Albany to fix roads badly damaged by this winter's brutal weather. The new state budget provides an extra $40 million for road repair.

The additional funding going into CHIPS the Consolidated Highway Improvement Program means Erie County will be getting almost $1 million more than expected for road repair. But the extra state aid is not going to fix every pothole, according to Erie County Executive Mark Poloncarz.

"To mill and overlay one lane-mile of road roughly costs $300,000. So the $1 million is helpful, but it basically means you can do three more miles of roads. And when you have 2,400 lane-miles of roads which you own and control, you're never going to be able to get to all of them in any one year but every additional cent matters," said Poloncarz.

So how will the extra money be spent?

"We're still waiting for the final thaw to take place especially in the southtowns. If you go through some of the southtowns you will still see snow on the ground, and the ground can be pretty hard. We can not make a final determination until we get through the next few weeks. Once the ground thaws, then we'll actually see more potholes materialize," said Poloncarz.

Before Albany increased CHIPs, Poloncarz says the county budgeted nearly $20 million for fixing roads this year. He says some of the bigger projects include Sowles Road in Hamburg, a portion of Goodrich Road in Clarence, and Hopkins Road in Amherst.