ARKWRIGHT – Roger Cardot took the lead role in scolding the wind farm representatives for their treatment of Miller and Brainard roads. The town councilman vented area residents’ concerns as the risk of muddy, swampy roads grows during wet season at the end of winter, beginning of spring.
The roads were blocked off to heavy traffic and stoned to allow local traffic to pass at the end of February. The conditions were unacceptable to councilman Cardot.
“Those roads’ve got to be able to have emergency services,” Cardot said. “It should never, ever, ever look like it did before I asked Jim (James Ziemba, the Arkwright highway department’s superintendent) to close the road. It’d been going on for a few days before that point that I was made aware of it and that was ridiculous.”
EDP Renewables had Kellen Ingalls, for engineering, and Mark Morris, for construction, present at the last town board meeting. They received the brunt of the comments. Some of the alleviations to the road were impossible for the company. One was waiting on construction until it freezes back up, however, the “higher ups” enforce the schedule for the work to be completed.
The mediation on Brainard Road was the use large stones to create traction. Miller Road was treated with smaller stones. The situation got muddy as the large stones were not easy to plow.
One resident came to the meeting looking for answers as to why there was no sand (a substitute for salt for traction) on the road. The highway department stated, their neighbors are to blame.
Two workers for the town’s highway department said in unison that residents on the road were displeased with the plows as they were doing more damage than good. The department workers said they were skimming the roads to not move the rocks, but trucks stopped after the complaints.
Sand, also, is a moot effort on rocks as they will fall through the cracks.
Ziemba added that there are still efforts to mitigate the roadway’s drivability and he checks on it daily.
EDP Renewables’ Morris was shocked at how the rocks were absorbed and impacted in the Western New York soil.
“Soils up here are like nothing I’ve ever seen,” Morris said.
Cardot stressed that placing rocks down in this area isn’t enough. Though it is a temporary solution, he hinted that the wind company should find a better top surface once the project is done.
“The roads are going to need a lot more put into it to get it back to where it was, as far as a drivable road,” Cardot said. “… Not with a stone. … How are you going to plow it? That alone tells me you know that you will have to put a lot of gravel back on top of that road. Right?”
Ingalls reiterated that there is a security payment to fix it once the project is done.
“We are not going to see the road look like that again,” Cardot said.
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