Route 60 redesign bid expected in 2019

A redesign of a portion of Route 60 and a handful of various roadwork projects are expected to make headway over the next few construction seasons as part of a series of federal- and state-funded infrastructure improvements slated for Chautauqua County.

The state DOT is expected to open bids for the rehabilitation of I-86 from Route 430 in Ellery to Strunk Road in the town of Ellicott. The project is expected to cost about $1.8 million and begin this spring. The project — expected to finish by the summer of 2019 — includes the removal and installation of 1.5 inches of pavement.

The milling and overlay of Route 60, from the Jamestown city line to Kimball Stand Road, is also expected to begin this spring. The estimated $1 million project is expected to be done by this summer. The same goes for the $500,000 rehabilitation project of the Route 954J reference route connecting Route 430 to the expressway.

The state DOT has also announced future projects in development. One includes the resurfacing of at least three streets in the city of Jamestown: Fluvanna Avenue, from the city line to Washington Street; Forest Avenue, from South Avenue to Washington Street; and McDaniel Avenue/Third Street, from Fairmount Avenue to east of the Fairmount/Fourth Street intersection.

Bids for the projects are expected to be opened in spring 2019, with construction beginning shortly thereafter.

Another project — one that already is being closely monitored by local and state officials — is the construction of relief passing lanes at various locations along Route 60 between the town of Gerry and village of Cassadaga. Additional work will include the addition of travel lane and shoulders from Gerry to Sinclairville.

Though not expected to be completed until at least the winter in 2020, the project was heralded by State Sen. Cathy Young in late August. The 12-mile stretch of state road that connects Jamestown to Dunkirk has long been called one of the most dangerous corridors for motorists in the county.

State officials said about 6,700 cars travel every day on that stretch of Route 60, most of which is a single lane in each direction. About 30 percent of motorists are estimated to be driving under the 55-mph speed limit.At a press conference announcing $5 million in state funding to expand lanes, Sheriff Joe Gerace said 82 people have died in car crashes on Route 60 since 1972, by far making it the most deadly highway in the county.

“That’s 82 too many,” Gerace said, noting at the time that extra lanes will limit risk-taking by drivers attempting to overtake slower vehicles. “It’s going to result in fewer injured and fewer people killed, he”

Young, who secured the funding, said in August, “This is very positive news. This is something we’ve all worked together to get done.”