Jun 01, 2010 Ami Olson Uncategorized
Just a few weeks into construction sesason, residents of Bennetts Corners Road in Camillus and Van Buren are already rattled by the volume and schedule of trucks hauling materials through their neighborhoods and on to the Thruway construction site.
Complaints poured in last week to both Camillus town officials and the NYS Thruway Authority when the construction firm contracted by the Thruway extended its typical daily schedule. From May 24 to 27, trucks traveled over the winding back road and through residential areas until 2 a.m. some mornings, only to pick back up a few hours later.
The trucks, hauling aggregates from Hanson on Route 321 in Skaneateles, traveled north on Route 321 and continued onto Bennetts Corners Road through Memphis to the Thruway construction site near Interchange 39. The route takes them through three townships and past many homes, including Mary and Scott Simpsons’ house in Memphis.
On Wednesday afternoon, Mary Simpson said the couple had been awoken by the sound of rumbling trucks passing their home around 6 a.m.
Mary Simpson said the neighborhood was prepared for the traffic to resume with the season, as the Thruway reconstruction project is ongoing — but no one warned them of the extended hours last week.
“Whoever runs the trucking company needs to be better at communicating with the communities,” Simpson said.
Simpson echoed one of the major complaints of residents along the route: that the first they heard about the night shifts was the sound of trucks rumbling outside their homes while they were trying to sleep.
Guy Hulbert, public affairs representative with the Syracuse Division of the Thruway Authority, admitted there had been a communication breakdown for the people of Camillus, though Van Buren town officials had been notified of last week’s night shifts.
“The problem with this job is its a $129 million project, and its kind of, for lack of a better word, fluid,” Hulbert said. “The situation changes quite a bit, and its a little tough to get notice to people. As far as the town of Camillus goes, unfortunately it looks like they got left out of the loop.”
Hulbert said the project fell behind schedule a few weeks ago, and the extended days were implemented by the contractor to get back on track.
“If it does happen to happen again in the future, which we’re hoping it doesn’t, we’ll make sure the towns are contacted in a timely manner,” Hulbert said.
Hulbert said he had discussed the situation at length with Camillus Supervisor Mary Ann Coogan and town councilor David Philippone, and expected to meet with them the following week to keep the lines of communication open.
No limits in place
The commitment to communicate may be somewhat of a relief to residents, but they should be aware that at any time the night shifts could return.
According to Bill Steward, the Cold Springs Construction project superintendent in charge of the Thruway project, there are no regulations on the hours haulers are allowed to deliver materials — in fact, its quite the opposite.
“I have opportunity to haul 24 hours a day, and I’m not because I don’t want to impact the townspeople,” said Cold Springs Construction project superintendent Bill Stewart. “I’m backing off on material deliveries because I’m sympathetic. There are hours we’re not working, solely for the townspeople. Not for Cold Springs.”
Stewart said last week’s schedule was aggressive, but that starting June 1 the hauling would return to a more normal schedule of around 7 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Canal Road repair billed to contractor
Onondaga County Department of Transportation Commissioner Brian Donnelly confirmed last week that heavy traffic on Canal Road in Camillus had aggravated settling pavement, which then needed to be replaced.
But Donnelly said the bill for those repairs would go to the contractors, not taxpayers.