FALCONER - Construction season in Chautauqua County is officially under way.
Chautauqua County Executive Greg Edwards and George Spanos, director of public facilities, recently announced the transportation department would be putting its 2013 construction season into effect.
"The biggest project that we have going on this year is the construction of the Millennium Parkway," Spanos said. "It's in the city of Dunkirk, town of Dunkirk and town of Sheridan."
The Millennium Parkway project, Spanos said, is federally funded, with 80 percent of the cost being picked up at the federal level, and 20 percent covered by state and local funds. The Department of Public Facilities has been designated as the acting project sponsor for the project, which totals $6.3 million.
"It includes the reconstruction of Talcott Street, portions of South Roberts, between Talcott and the railroad line to the south," Spanos said. "And then, it turns eastward toward Purina."
The new highway will link the New York state thruway, Route 60, New York Route 5, and the Chadwick Bay Industrial Park in the city of Dunkirk and the towns of Dunkirk and Sheridan.
"We have worked for over seven years to get to this stage in the construction of a route for heavy truck traffic through Northern Chautauqua County, enabling trucks to serve our growing manufacturing and agriculture business," Edwards said. "The increase in traffic has meant an increase in jobs and an improved economy, and the construction of the Millenium Parkway will improve safety, efficiency and reduce pollution, while at the same time opening up the old Roblin Steel/Alumax property for even more development."
In June, the county will begin the main part of its highway resurfacing program. It will include chip sealing or oil and stone surface treatment and the resurfacing of more than 85 miles of roads throughout the county.
The division of transportation has also already begun its annual bridge repair and rehabilitation program for the year. The department has crews dedicated to this task, and is scheduled to repair or replace approximately 12 structures throughout the county. The county will be replacing two bridges under federal MAP-21 funding. The program covers 80 percent of the cost with federal funds, 15 percent with state and 5 percent with county funding.
Because some of the projects scheduled for this summer include posted work zones and detours, Spanos and the Department of Public Facilities request patience and cooperation from residents and visitors.
"Please obey the work zone speeds and give our workers a break," Spanos said. "They are out there for you, working to make your travels safer and more enjoyable."