Councilmember Adamczyk: Expressway lights back operational

Lights along the Kensington Expressway between Eggert Road and the Interstate-90 interchange are operational on November 29th. (Jim Herr/Cheektowaga Chronicle)
Lights along the Kensington Expressway between Eggert Road and the Interstate-90 interchange are operational on November 29th. (Jim Herr/Cheektowaga Chronicle)

CHEEKTOWAGA – The dysfunctional street lights along a strip of the Kensington Expressway are finally fixed according to Town of Cheektowaga leaders.  

Councilmember Christine Adamczyk is the committee chairperson for the town’s street lighting and signs committee.  She tells Cheektowaga Chronicle that a town employee has been working on fixing the issues plaguing the strip of lights from Eggert Road to the Interstate-90 interchange and the town can now say they’re, “Almost 100%.  Hopefully, within the next week, it should be 100%.”

The town council was scheduled to pass a resolution a few meetings ago to bring in an outside electrical firm to troubleshoot and fix the problem. However, the resolution was pulled.

“We went in-house,” said Ms. Adamczyk.  “Bill Graczyk has over 30-years experience as an electrician.  I had the utmost confidence that Bill could have fixed the problem – which he did – and I’m glad we stayed in-house to do it.”

Mr. Graczyk was the former town electrician before being promoted to Working Foreman for the Buildings and Grounds Department earlier this year upon the retirement of 31-year veteran Ray Bienik.

He tells Cheektowaga Chronicle that he started troubleshooting and repairing the issues two weeks ago.

“We had a National Grid issue and had a problem with the breaker box that feeds one of the sections.  There were also some bad connections in some of the poles,” said Mr. Graczyk.

As it sits Thursday morning, “90% of the lights are operational, and then there are a couple of stray ones that need some bulbs,” added Mr. Graczyk.

The mission to repair the lights along the highway have run into one problem after another over the past year with the saga unfolding during the rating periods of WGRZ-TV.  

Ms. Adamczyk says the weight is finally off the town’s chest.

“Yes, it’s finally off our chests.  The lights all will be working soon on the 33, and there shouldn’t be any more problems.  It feels good finally, thanks to Bill.”

And to make sure the issue never happens again, “We’re just going to keep on top of it and maintain it yearly,” said Mr. Graczyk.