Niagara, Erie Counties Complete Joint Tonawanda Creek Road Project

Leaders from Erie and Niagara counties today cut the ribbon to reopen a section Tonawanda Creek Road in the Town of Clarence that has been closed since 2014.  The project is part of the bi-county Tonawanda Creek slope stabilization and roadway reconstruction effort that also includes projects in the towns of Lockport and Pendleton.  

(From Left to Right: Erie County Legislator Ed Rath, Niagara County Legislator Tony Nemi, Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz, Niagara County Legislature Chairman Becky Wydysh.)

“Today is a great example of what can be accomplished when local governments collaborate,” said Niagara County Legislature Chairman Becky Wydysh.  “The Niagara County Department of Public Works took the lead on this project in close consultation with their counterparts in Erie and the result is the successful completion of the Lockport and Clarence projects, with the work in Pendleton heading quickly toward conclusion.”

(Niagara County Legislature Chairman Becky Wdysyh.)

“The completion of the Tonawanda Creek Road project is great news for motorists and residents, bringing the road back into service after extensive stabilization and reconstruction,” said Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz. “Slope failures and soil subsidence issues demand a different approach for remediation, far more intensive than the usual mill-and-overlay process our crews use to repair roads. This project required extensive planning and cooperation between the Public Works’ Departments of both Erie and Niagara counties, and I thank all of our partners for their work in getting this job done as expeditiously as possible.”

(Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz.)

According to Niagara County Department of Public Works, the total construction costs was $7.3 million.  The project was awarded to UCC Constructors, Inc. in November 2019.  Greenman-Pederson, Inc. served as the consulting engineers. The Clarence and Lockport portions are now complete with Pendleton slated for completion by the end of August.

“By combining three different projects along the banks of Tonawanda Creek, we were able to create a single project that scored higher in rankings for state and federal funding,” said Niagara County Legislator Tony Nemi.  “Considering that southern Lockport and Pendleton are some of the fastest growing areas in all of Western New York, we need to be finding creative ways to fund our infrastructure needs, and working across county lines produced a win/win for both Erie and Niagara.”

(Niagara County Legislator Tony Nemi.)

“This project is the result of a successful collaboration between Erie and Niagara Counties,” said Erie County Legislator Ed Rath. “The residents of Clarence and neighboring communities have been patiently waiting for this news since the road’s closure in 2014. I am glad both county governments could work together in support of taxpayers who deserve safe, reliable infrastructure.”

(Erie County Legislator Ed Rath.)

Project Description

Clarence site: 

A 400-foot-long segment of Tonawanda Creek Road between Westphalinger Road and Northfield Road failed and partially slid toward Tonawanda Creek in 2014. The road has been closed to through traffic since the failure. 

The cause of the failure was determined to be a weak layer of underlying soil below the roadway. This project utilized dry mix soil columns to strengthen the soil in order to support the roadway. The process mixes cement with the existing soil in the area of and through the depth of the failure. A load transfer platform is constructed on top of the columns, followed by a mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) wall to support the fill up to the grade of the road. The roadway was then reconstructed, along with new drainage, guiderail, signs and striping. The cost for this site was about $2.1M.  Work was completed in August 2020.

Lockport site: 

A 1000-foot-long segment of Tonawanda Creek Road near Lockwood Lane experienced distress including guiderail displacement and pavement cracking resulting from a slope failure. The slope stabilization performed under this project included a stream bank revetment (bank armoring) and the construction of a mechanically stabilized earth (MSE) wall to support the fill for the roadway. The roadway was then reconstructed, along with new drainage, guiderail, signs and striping. The cost for this site was about $1.1M.   Work was completed in April 2020.

Pendleton site: 

This site is a 2.5-mile segment of Tonawanda Creek Road between Campbell Boulevard and Irish Road. The first 0.7 mile at the Campbell Blvd end was milled and overlaid with two courses of asphalt. The remainder was reconstructed. The original concrete roadway was milled and then rubblized, to be used as subbase for the new roadway. The project includes new closed and open drainage throughout and new guiderail, signs and striping. The cost for this site is about $4.1M, with completion anticipated by the end of August 2020.

(Ned Holderby, Pastor at St. Stephen’s United Church of Christ, was very excited for the extra access to his church.)