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Wednesday, August 6, 2014 at 11:15 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 4:16 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 9:17 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 12:50 pm

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 7:55 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 3:32 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 1:13 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."

Monday, April 21, 2014 at 11:07 am

Photos: Road reconstruction on Cedar Street

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

Contractors have begun road reconstruction work on the south end of Cedar Street, Batavia.

Saturday, April 19, 2014 at 8:07 pm

Portion of Byron Road closed due to culvert collapse

post by Howard B. Owens in infrastructure

From County Highway Superintendent Tim Hens:

Byron Road between Griswold Road and Walkers Corners Road is closed until further notice due to a drainage culvert that has collapsed. The road is undermined and is a hazard to all traffic. County Highway will be investigating the scene for long-term repair options on Monday.

UPDATE 9 p.m.: The following photos and information were sent to us by Korinne Haymon.

According to Korinne Haymon, her husband was taking their two children out for a bike ride on Byron Road when suddenly, the ground crumbled beneath them. Their 7-year-old jumped out of the carrier, but their 4-year-old fell into the sink hole. Korinne's husband jumped in and got him out, but "he had a hell of a time getting out because the sides were crumbling," Hayman said. "Very scary!" The width of the hole is 15 to 20 feet, Haymon said. "My kids are so traumatized. We're just thankful everyone is OK." Haymon said they called the Highway Department rather than the Sheriff's Office because nobody was hurt.

Friday, April 4, 2014 at 11:40 am

Ranzenhofer announces state funds for road and street repair

post by Howard B. Owens in infrastructure, Mike Ranzenhofer

State Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer announced today that the 2014-15 State Budget will provide an additional $40 million to help municipalities repair potholes and road surface damage caused by the harsh winter weather.

“While spring has finally arrived, the aftermath of a brutal winter still remains. There are still a significant number of potholes and surface damage all over the roadways. At the same time, the harsh winter has depleted municipalities’ budgets to repair roads,” Ranzenhofer said. “These investments will benefit towns and villages throughout Genesee County so that new infrastructure repair projects can be undertaken.”

The 2014-15 State Budget includes $40 million in Extreme Winter Weather Assistance Capital and $438 million for the Consolidated Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS). The new budget maintains a record level of funding for the CHIPS program for a second consecutive year. The 2012-13 State Budget first increased CHIPS funding by $75 million.

Breakdown: CHIPS/Extreme Winter Weather Assistance by Municipality


2013-14 State Budget ($)

2014-15 State Budget ($)

Year-over-year Change ($)

Percent Change

Genesee County





City of Batavia





Town of Alabama





Town of Alexander





Town of Batavia





Town of Bergen





Town of Bethany





Town of Byron





Town of Darien





Town of Elba





Town of LeRoy





Town of Oakfield





Town of Pavilion





Town of Pembroke





Town of Stafford





Village of Alexander





Village of Bergen





Village of Corfu





Village of Elba





Village of Le Roy





Village of Oakfield





In addition to these initiatives, the State Budget provides ways to keep roads and drivers safe. More funding has been allocated toward curtailing dangerous texting-while-driving. Young and new drivers convicted of texting-while-driving will have their licenses suspended for 120 days for a first-time offense and one year for a second-time offense.

The New York State Legislature started the CHIPS program in 1981. The CHIPS program provides funding for the repair of highways, bridges and roads operated by local governments.


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