Posted at: 01/24/2013 5:53 PM
By: Joangel Concepcion
Big plans are underway for Buffalo Road in Gates, but it's going to cost you millions. News10NBC wanted to know if the project was worth the price tag.
The project is about a 1.2 mile stretch on Buffalo Road that runs right through Gates. The exact area is Trabold Road to Marway Circle. The project will expand lanes, add dedicated turning lanes to the busy road and more. The cost to you, the taxpayer, for these improvements is $4 million.
Studies show 14,000 cars travel on this road every day. Within the last three years, there has been 51 accidents. This is what prompted the plan. Right now, the project has not been finalized, but it is in its final stages. The main concern about this stretch of the road is traffic congestion, and pedestrian safety.
It's considered a very busy road. Studies conducted by the New York State Department of Transportation show it could use a little help, especially when it comes to safety.
Lori Maher, DOT spokeswoman, said, “By widening the road way there, adding extra turn lanes, it will really help the motorists clearly know where they need to be and improve safety.”
Lori Maher from the DOT says a multi-million dollar project will fix that. It will not only improve roads, but it will also reduce congestion, add sidewalks for pedestrians and upgrade the current drainage system along the road. The price tag is four million dollars.
News10NBC's Joangel Concepcion said, “What do you say to the people who think this is a little too much money and maybe we should be putting it towards something else.
Maher said, “Well, four million dollars is a lot of money to invest but we've made money investments in this area recently and traffic is growing and we need to provide safety for all the people that travel there in the Gates area as well as a lot of people who come through this Gates area.”
Maher says the money is coming from the state and from federal safety money. She says its a fund the government puts aside strictly for safety concerns. This road has been on the radar for years. Local businesses hope the changes will bring more people over to the area.
Tom O'Brien, Jeremiah's Tavern, said, “There will be a crosswalk built where anyone on that side wants to come over on our side it will be much easier than it is right now.”
Tom O'Brien runs Jeremiah's Tavern. The bar has only been open for seven months. For him, new changes, means big bucks for businesses in Gates.
O'Brien said, “It will definitely help the area. It will make it more accessible and I think it will be great.”
O'Brien says he doesn't mind the price tag if its going to help the area grow.
O”Brien said, “The more foot traffic there is in the area, the better it is for everyone in the area.”
Officials from the New York Department of Transportation will hold a public information meeting next Thursday January 31 from 5:00 p.m. -8:00 p.m. at the Gates Town Hall Annex on Buffalo Road. The public is invited to the meeting and everyone is welcome to voice any comments or concerns about the project.
Officials still have a lot to figure out before the final green light. They are still in the design stage. Plans should be finalized this fall and construction will begin in the spring of 2014.