Warren County Public Works Superintendent Jeff Tennyson (right) warns Warren County supervisors Monday, July 29 about how dozens of roadways throughout Warren County need repair due to potholes and rutted pavement. He and others have voiced warnings for years about deteriorating roads, while municipal leaders have slashed highway repair appropriations in order to balance their budgets. For the first time in many years, the state legislature has budgeted a substantial increase in aid to local municipalities for road and infrastructure repair. Municipal engineers have said that the state’s roadways, due to recent years’ budget cuts, have been deteriorating at an ever-faster rate and may require massive amounts of taxpayer money to restore them to historic standards. County supervisors voted Monday to have three short stretches of roadway resurfaced, leaving dozens of more recommended highway resurfacing projects left to tackle in the future.
Faced with reports of dozens of deteriorating roadways, Warren County leaders have endorsed a plan to repair short stretches of the three roads that present the most urgent threat to public safety.
Warren County supervisors on the county Public Works Committee voted July 29 to re-pave portions of Olmstedville Road in Chester, Hadley Road in Stony Creek, and Harrington Hill Road in Warrensburg. The road repair approval was prompted by the county having $136,000 left over after completing about $1.38 million in road repair projects so far this year.
For years, county supervisors have cut millions of dollars from the funds allocated for highway resurfacing in order to balance their annual budget, although county Public Works Superintendent Jeff Tennyson has warned them that postponing paving projects leads to far greater future expenses to tackle comprehensive road reconstruction. The need to cut the county budget, however, prevailed in recent years due to the financial stresses prompted by the recession and the state’s municipal tax cap.
Tennyson reminded the supervisors July 29 of the ever-present need for county highway resurfacing.
“I could fill four pages with road projects,” he said, after presenting a list one-third page long of 13 roadways that needed repaving. They included Valentine Pond Road in Horicon, River St. in Warrensburg, Harrisburg Road in Stony Creek, New Hague Road in Hague, Horicon Ave. in Bolton, Pilot Knob Road in Lake George, East River Drive in Lake Luzerne, South Johnsburg Road in Thurman and Garnet Lake Road in Johnsburg. He said the 13 roads listed were “just a sampling” of what needed to be done.
County Deputy Public Works Superintendent Kevin Hajos noted that ruts and potholes on some stretches of roadway in the county could cause motorcyclists to veer off the pavement.
Thurman Supervisor Evelyn Wood responded by urging that the three roadways that were in the worst shape to be repaired as soon as possible. Her motion was approved unanimously by the committee. Their vote is subject to approval Aug. 17 by the full board of supervisors.
The stretch of the Olmstedville Road to be paved is about a half-mile long on the S-turns; the portion of Hadley Road to be resurfaced is a one-third mile segment just outside the Stony Creek hamlet, and the stretch of Harrington Hill Road slated for repair is a mile long at the top of the hill.