Deal struck with Erie County to rehab Borden Road

Rowley Road in Cheektowaga. (Jim Herr/Cheektowaga Chronicle)
Rowley Road in Cheektowaga. (Jim Herr/Cheektowaga Chronicle)

CHEEKTOWAGA –  Borden Road could soon get a complete makeover with Erie County covering the entire expense – the only hitch is – Cheektowaga must take ownership of Rowley Road.

Erie County Legislator John Bruso says it didn’t take him long to get an earful about the condition of Borden Road.

“When I originally took office, one of the first conversations I had with Supervisor Benczkowski was Borden Road.  The second conversation I had with Supervisor Benczkowski was Borden Road.  The third conversation – you get the idea,” said Mr. Bruso.  “Once I got a district office my phone was ringing from people in South Cheektowaga about Borden Road.  I went to work with the county DPW to figure out what we could do for Borden Road.”

Mr. Bruso says the county engineers classify Borden Road as a “grade 7” or in good condition and it would be around three to four years before the road would be rehabbed.  Residents and even Mr. Bruso thinks the project should be done sooner.

“I believe we’re in the customer service business.  I believe it needs it.  There are sections of Borden Road that absolutely needs it,” he said.

Here’s the rub according to Mr. Bruso – after the much politicized red/green budget crisis almost a decade ago – the county went from eleven highway barns down to five barns.

“They don’t have the wherewithal, the manpower, to take care of all their roads. So roads that are within the town that are true county roads per se, they would like those roads taken back,” he said.

The proposed deal is to have the Town of Cheektowaga take back Rowley Road and a portion of Indian Road from Rowley Road to Como Park Boulevard.   In exchange, Erie County will rehab Borden Road sooner than planned – possibly within the next year.

“We’re talking soup-to-nuts, done the right way, piping down the sides,” Mr. Bruso added.  “The money is available now because nobody else has gone to the well.”

Erie County will retain ownership of the Rowley Road bridge.

The town council approved the deal on its face Tuesday night, and a contract will be drawn up to formalize the agreement.  After that, the onus would be on the county to get Borden Road rehabbed to the town’s satisfaction before the transaction would be complete.

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