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Saturday, November 29, 2014 at 12:41 pm

Water main break reported on Oak Street

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, infrastructure, Oak Street

There is a water main break on Oak Street near Park Road, according to Matt Worth, superintendent of Water and Wastewater. Residents on Oak Street and Union Street north to the city line are effected. Crews are on site beginning repairs.

Sunday, November 23, 2014 at 9:05 am

A Sunday morning water main break at Trumbull and North

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, infrastructure

This isn't what anybody wants to wake up to on a Sunday morning -- water filling basements, bubbling over onto streets only recently covered with smooth, black asphalt, and the exact location of the water main break a bit of a mystery.

That's the situation at North Street and Trumbull Parkway in the city this morning.

It started with three calls for city fire to pump flooded basements on Trumbull Parkway.

That's when the water main break was discovered, most likely somewhere in the middle of the intersection of Trumbull and North, which was resurfaced this summer.

The leak is likely within the area of the intersection, but exactly where along the line won't be determined until a backhoe cuts into the new pavement, pulls up dirt and uncovers the line.

Water has been shut off, arresting the leak, but that also means four houses on North Street are without water. Other residents in the area may experience water discoloration, said Matt Worth, superintendent of the Bureau of Water & Wastewater.  

The repairs will likely take most of the day, Worth said.

Friday, October 31, 2014 at 2:50 pm

City to get state grant for sidewalk improvements, not bicycle trails

post by Billie Owens in batavia, infrastructure

State funds for a system of bicycle trails around the city of Batavia, which the governor's office announced Monday, are actually eamarked for sidewalk replacements and repairs, not biking trails, according to City Manager Jason Molino.

The Healthy Schools Corridor project is slated to get $720,657 for sidewalk improvements on Summit Street, Liberty Street, South Liberty Street and Washington Avenue.

Today's press release:

With a $720,657 grant from the Transportation Alternatives Program (TAP) funded by the Federal Highway Administration and administered by NYS Dept. of Transportation, the City of Batavia Public Works Department will be able to expand sidewalk replacements along Summit and Liberty streets and Washington Avenue.

The project will include the removal of old sidewalks, installation of new sidewalks, handicap access ramps, high visibility crosswalks and selective tree removal and will be matched with $240,219 of City funds. In total the $960,000 project will include over 12,300 linear feet of improved sidewalks providing safer routes for pedestrians and bicyclists connecting United Memorial Medical Center, Batavia Middle School, St. Joe’s School, the Downtown Corridor and Jackson Elementary School.

“Improving sidewalks has been a priority for City Council and this grant will allow us to do even more over the next few years” said City Council President Brooks Hawley. “With this grant we will be able to make our sidewalks safe for our residents and children.”

The City has approximately 73 miles of sidewalk, and in 2011 it was estimated that more than 20 percent of the sidewalk system needed repair. The City has made a concerted effort since to 2011 and has replaced over 26,500 linear feet, or almost 7 percent of the sidewalk system. This includes more than 130 curb ramps.

“This grant will allow the City to more than quadruple our annual effort,” said Sally Kuzon, director of Public Works.

Sixth Ward Councilwoman Rosemary Christian and longtime advocate for sidewalk improvements added, “I’m ecstatic about getting this grant. Every year I ask for more and more sidewalk improvements and now we are going to do almost $1 million in one year. Our residents deserve it.”

TAP provides funding for non‐motorized transportation alternatives such as bicycle and pedestrian facilities, safe routes to schools projects, trails, and other infrastructure improvements to the transportation system. The City applied for the grant in June 2014 and was one of seven communities in the nine-county Finger Lakes Region to receive an award.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014 at 10:15 am

Summit Street to be closed Thursday for repaving

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, infrastructure, Summit Street

Press release:

On Thursday Aug. 7, the City of Batavia Infrastructure Improvement Project will finish paving on Summit Street, weather permitting. This phase of the project includes paving the roadway; the work zone will be from East Main Street (RTS 5 / 33) to North Street.

Given the scope of this work Summit Street will be closed to all thru traffic on Thursday from 7 a.m. until 5 p.m. Local traffic will be allowed to access their residences throughout the duration of this phase, however thru traffic will be detoured by use of Ross Street and Bank Street. No parking will be permitted on Summit Street during this time.

Weather permitting, it is anticipated that this phase of the project will be completed in one day. The City of Batavia and Keeler Construction Co., Inc., appreciates your patience and cooperation during the construction and asks motorists and pedestrians to abide by this closure and use the posted detour whenever possible.

The point of contact is the Department of Public Works at 345-6325.

Friday, June 27, 2014 at 3:16 pm

Work set to begin on Trumbull Parkway, Batavia

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, infrastructure

Press release:

On Tuesday July 1st, the Trumbull Parkway Infrastructure Project will begin on Trumbull Parkway from East Avenue to Lown Street in the City of Batavia. The project includes installation of a new sanitary sewer main, water services, replacement of damaged sidewalks, and resurfacing the roadway.  The work is expected to be complete by Sept. 19th. Given the scope of the work, sections of Trumbull Parkway will be temporarily closed to thru traffic, excluding the residents who live in the work zone.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014 at 8:17 am

Summit Street closed for water line replacement

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, infrastructure

Press release:

A water service replacement is scheduled for Thursday June 19 on Summit Street. This work will require Summit to be closed to traffic from Ellsworth Avenue to North Street until the repair is completed. The road will be closed at approximately 8:30 a.m. This work should not impact water service to customers.

Friday, May 30, 2014 at 11:50 am

Photos: Center and School closed for repaving

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, Center Street, downtown, infrastructure, School Street

Center Street and School Street (between Center and Liberty) are closed today for repaving.

Friday, May 9, 2014 at 6:55 pm

Photos: Bethany Center Bridge suffers more visible damage over the winter

post by Howard B. Owens in Bethany, bethany center bridge, infrastructure

A lot of snow and ice meant a lot of salt use on roadways this winter, and the nearly century-old Bethany Center Bridge over Route 20 didn't fare well.

The damage is said to be cosmetic, but the sidewalk is chewed up enough that the State Department of Transportation posted a sign and put up barricades closing the bridge to pedestrian traffic.

The bridge isn't scheduled for replacement until next year at the earliest and a spokeswoman for the DOT was out of the office this afternoon and said she couldn't provide immediate information on the bridge's current status.

We also spoke with County Highway Superintendent Tim Hens. He also wasn't in his office at the time and couldn't double-check the paperwork, but said he wasn't aware of any change in plans.

Hens said he doesn't believe the bridge is in any danger of falling down.

Thursday, May 8, 2014 at 2:32 pm

Highway superintendents statewide dealing with aging roadways and infrastructure

post by Howard B. Owens in infrastructure

County Highway Superintendent Tim Hens sent over this picture from a roadway in Montgomery County (near Utica), saying, "it could have been worse" -- a comparison to the dramatic sinkhole incident in Byron last month.

The state's county highway superintendents are concerned about these issues and are lobbying Albany for funding to deal with aging roadways and infrastructure. Hens is currently president of the NYS County Highway Superintendents Association.

Hens also said the culvert on Byron Road has been replaced, backfilling is nearly complete and if there's dry weather tomorrow the road could reopen by the afternoon.

UPDATE 4:06 p.m.: More from Tim Hens:

Specifically we are trying to get the state to commit to a State Aid to Local Bridge and Culvert Program that would help counties repair the large number of aged and deteriorated culverts between 5 foot and 20 foot in span. The culvert that collapsed in Montgomery County is a prime example of the size of the culvert we are trying to get funded.
We have approximately 184 culverts of this size--many were built after WWII and are in need of replacement. Some are very large -- we have one on Linden Road in Bethany in the hamlet of Linden that is 19 feet 9 inches in span. It falls short of meeting federal requirements by 3 inches! It is a very large concrete arch bridge (very cool looking are actually if you are out photo hunting). It will cost at least a $1 million to replace and it will all be on the county as it does not qualify for aid. That is a big chunk for the county to finance on its own for a small bridge in a very rural area.
Monday, April 21, 2014 at 12:13 pm

Workers begin repair work on culvert that collapsed under man and his two children

post by Howard B. Owens in batavia, infrastructure

The culvert that collapsed Saturday under a Byron resident and his two children while out on a bike ride was scheduled to be replaced this summer, said County Highway Superintendent Tim Hens.

"I don't think any of us realized how bad it was in terms of being rotted out," Hens said. "We did a visual inspection, but I wasn't going to crawl into a two-foot pipe, but you can never tell without getting in there. The middle was in a lot worse shape than we thought."

Byron-Batavia Road between Griswold Road and Walkers Corners Road will be closed for two weeks while the culvert is replaced.

The cost of the replacement is approximately $50,000.

"Mother nature and time beat us to the punch," Hens said.

The husband of Korinne Haymon, who contacted The Batavian about the incident, said her husband and their two children were on a Saturday afternoon bike ride when the culvert gave out from under them. 

Mr. Haymon was pulling a bike carrier with their 4-year-old and 7-year-old riding along when he decided to stop out of curiosity and look at a small hole by the side of the road. It was about the size of a groundhog hole.

As soon as he put his foot down, the ground gave way.

The 7-year-old was able to jump over the hole "like Superman," Korinne said.

As soon as he realized the 4-year-old had fallen to the bottom of the hole, Mr. Haymon jumped to the bottom and he was able to lift the child over his head and push him out of the hole. He yelled for the child to move away from the hole. Then he pulled the bike and carrier the rest of the way into the hold and use it like a ladder to climb out.

"He said every time he grabbed earth, it was just crumbling," Korinne said. "They were hysterical, like screaming."

Outside of some cuts and scrapes, nobody was injured.

"He was petrified," Korinne said. "He said he just keeps playing it over in his head but I told him to just focus on everybody is all right."

The children are doing fine, Korinne said.

"They just laugh about how my oldest Supermanned over the hole," she said.

Hens said in his 16 years this is only the second culvert to collapse. The other one was in Darien in 1998 or 1999 and rain helped wash out a sinkhole.

"Most of the time we're ahead of the game in identifying (culverts for replacement)," Hens said. "We wait for a dry time to check on them. It's unusual for them to collapse like that and just from a visual inspection point of view, we have ones that are way worse. It's an odd combination of weather, timing, cold weather -- all of that plays into it."

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