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Niagara Falls fixing water leaks in cooperation with Buffalo Avenue re-paving

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It's one of those urban jokes: as soon as a street is repaired, someone comes by to dig it up to make some infrastructure repair. The City of Niagara Falls and the Niagara Falls Water Board are in cooperation to make sure that doesn't happen - this time.

The city is spending several years trying to re-pave the entire length of Buffalo Avenue, from downtown to 102nd Street at the town line of Wheatfield. The Water Board is starting a major effort to spend every buck it can to deal with the horrendous loss of water because of leaking pipes, perhaps as much as two-thirds of the water in the system. That's why the board just received a bid for new piping from 95th to 102nd.

Water Board Chairman Daniel O'Callaghan says it's being done in cooperation with the city.

"We're going to go in and we're going to run new water main down Buffalo Avenue, and we're going to back fill it with the proper procedure with the stone and everything and compaction and bring it back to just below grade," said O'Callaghan, "and then as soon as we're completed our project, which will be a 40-day project, the city is going to come in and dig out the road and actually put in a new road."

O'Callaghan says it's the right thing to do for the taxpayers.

"We're not going out there and having someone pave a road and then we're going to come up and dig up the road up," he said. "So it's like two-fold: so we're saving money and they're saving money at the same time. So it's a win-win for the City of Niagara Falls and the Niagara Falls Water Board."

The low bid for the water work was $465,000 from Visone Construction in Depew. Falls Mayor Paul Dyster is really excited about the plan because it makes the best use of the limited resources of the Water Board and the city working together, especially with the city dealing with the possible loss of revenue from the Seneca Niagara Casino.

"It's difficult for them and for us coming up with money for these projects," said Dyster. "So coordinating it so that we both have funds available at the same time can be very difficult, but it got done in this case and that's a very positive thing."

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.
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