Much-needed repaving coming to Lake Ontario State Parkway

April 16, 2018 11:40 PM

A notoriously rough stretch of the Lake Ontario State Parkway in Orleans County is finally going to see some long-awaited repaving.

That's a relief to longtime commuter Vincent Flow, who says the parkway is "worse than a washboard."

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"It just rattles your whole car," he says.

Over 30 years, he's watched the surface of the parkway deteriorate to the point that he'd rather drive on the shoulder because even that's smoother than all the cracks, patches, potholes and bumps of the road itself, which can knock loose a hubcap or jolt your teeth.

"It's been frustrating for years, yes. There seems to be money all over the state except for rural areas like ours," says Flow.

The State Department of Transportation says it will start work next Monday on a $5.2 million project to upgrade the pavement on the Parkway between Route 19 in Hamlin and Route 237 in Kendall.

"We're standing like this trying to help somebody, and now all of a sudden you're hitting all these bumps," says Bryan Hardenbrook, an EMT and Deputy Chief at Kendall EMT. He says riding in his ambulance on the Parkway is so rough that emergency responders have avoided it for years, slowing down their ability to transport patients.

"Taking the parkway would mean putting our own guys in danger as well as risking any further injury to any patient we would have in the back," says Hardenbrook.

The DOT reports its repaving plan will cover seven and a half miles of road, but will never completely shut down the Parkway, leaving at least one lane open in each direction all the time.

"This will open up the gateway to the west," says Kendall Town Supervisor Tony Cammarata, "And to the east, for the Canadians to come, people from Niagara County, people from Ohio, people from Pennsylvania. This will up as people will be able to use this Parkway the way it was meant to be." 

Work is expected to start on next Monday, with the old pavement being ground down to prepare for the repaving work. 

Besides the Parkway itself, three interchanges will also be repaved and sometimes shut down, but never on weekends, again with an eye towards keeping traffic flowing during tourist season on the lake.


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