Erie and Depeyster Streets to be rebuilt over summer

Meghan Bogardus

Headline: Erie and Depeyster Streets to be rebuilt over summer

By Meghan Bogardus

As downtown gets a facelift with new developments, two streets will join the revitalization this summer. Erie St. and Depeyster St. will be fully rebuilt in a project beginning this summer and finishing in the spring of 2013, said city engineer Jim Bowling.

Bowling said the rebuilding of these two streets was a decision that was made in conjunction with the development downtown. Both streets are in the heart of the current construction and Bowling said the developers agreed to build knowing that the streets around them would be repaired.

“This was needed whether developers came or not,” Bowling said.

Steve Plotts, a manager at Euro Gyro, which is located on South Depeyester St., said the repairs have been needed.

“It is really bumpy,” he said. “Especially where [Depeyster] meets Haymaker.”

Plotts said he didn’t see it would affect business as long as people could still find a way to get there.

Tim Nightengale, the owner of Wild Earth Outfitters in the newly built Acorn Alley II, said the repairs are definitely needed, but he worried it could be a negative for his business if the road is closed for a long period of time.

“In the long run it is a good thing,” he said.

Bowling said in addition to being generally rebuilt, the roads would also be made more pedestrian-friendly with the addition of wider sidewalks.

Repairs will last through the summer and the majority of the work should be finished by mid-November, Bowling said. Both of the roads will not be done at the same time, so thru-traffic will still be able to use them.

While the repairs on these streets were needed, Bowling said entire streets are only rebuilt in extreme circumstances.

“There are several levels of roadwork done on an annual basis,” he said.

Generally, Bowling said major roadwork isn’t done until April, when the asphalt plants open for the season. Even with a mild winter like this one, Bowling said the plants wouldn’t open until it gets much warmer.

“It takes a lot to get the plants running,” he said.

Bowling said the city maintenance department places temporary patches on potholes and damages throughout the winter. Once the plants open again, a full repair can be done on the road beginning with completely cutting out bad asphalt.

Part of the reason Erie and Depeyster streets will be rebuilt is the amount of bad asphalt.

“Even if we milled off parts, there was no good asphalt,” Bowling said.

The next major roadwork to be done in the city will be a full repair of Summit St. in 2014. Bowling said the repairs would address congestion, safety and bad pavement.

Sidebar: How a road is chosen for repair

1. Rate of pavement. Use a pavement condition index (PCI), of 1 to 100. 1 meaning no road at all, 100 meaning it was just paved.

2. Volume of traffic. They will choose to fix a road that carries 5,000 cars a day over one that only carries 12.

3. Other work on road. If utilities are being dug up on a road they want to fix, they would chose to fix it after that is done not before.