ANGOLA, N.Y. (WIVB) - Drivers are complaining about a major roadway in the southtowns. Some people describe it as the worst stretch of road they know.
It could be one of the bumpiest, most bone-jarring four miles of road in western New York. But county officials have been working on Eden-Evans Center Road for years, and they are stumped.
Ask drivers and their passengers what it is like trying to navigate the heaves and patches along Eden-Evans Center Road and you will get an earful.
Toni Uncapher said, "And it's like bump, bump, bump all the way home, all the way down there, evey day. If this car holds up, it will be a miracle!"
Shannon Segool said, "The potholes are ridiculous!"
It's a 4.2-mile stretch of Eden-Evans Center Road from the Evans town line, at the foot of the State Thruway, west, past Route 20, to the stoplight at Route 5 in the village of Angola. There are craters, and patches on top of patches, and it all seems to get worse in the winter. You not only risk damage to your car, it can hurt driver and passengers, too.
Erie County's Public Works Commissioner Jerry Sentz said, "There is something deep below the pavement, itself, that is causing this to heave."
Sentz said they have been working on Eden-Evans Center Road for years, but it is beyond patches, and it's even beyond re-surfacing.
"We have put drainage in laterally, we have put in drainage horizontally, thinking that maybe the water is freezing and that is causing the heaving. So where we put drainage to see if okay, did that make it better? That didn't seem to help," said Sentz.
County officials even brought in an expert from Cornell with a machine nicknamed the "Thumper," last summer, to test the surface and soil under the pavement. They expect the results shortly. But Sentz said they have to know what the problem is before they can work on a solution.
Sentz said, "If we were to just tear up the whole road and do everything, it is over $20 million. That is like my entire budget."
So these "rough road" signs have been posted to urge drivers to be careful. And others, such as Kim Corda, are going five to ten minutes out of the way to protect their cars.
"I actually choose to drive down to Route 5 and break off, and get onto Route 20 that way because I don't want to ride on it," said Corda.
Sentz said once they figure out how to fix the road.,they will make the repairs in sections, starting as early as next summer. If the work holds, they will do the entire 4.2-mile section, or do as much as the county can afford.
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