Niagara Gazette — The original gateway between the City of Niagara Falls and the Village of Lewiston is now fully open and ready for traffic.
Gathered with representatives from the most recent construction firm to handle the project, several city engineers and state and county politicians, Falls Mayor Paul Dyster proclaimed the formal completion of one of the city’s most longstanding projects Wednesday, recognizing five summers of work on the alternative route bypassing the north section of the Robert Moses Parkway and servicing Niagara University.
“When we first broke ground on this project in April 2009, I doubt anyone believed we’d be here in August 2013 to declare the project completed,” Dyster said. “But we are. We’re finally at the end of this twisty, turning road.”
Twisting and turning drama is definitely an apropos description, considering the trouble the city’s faced completing the reconstruction of just 1.9 miles of road. Before equipment was ever brought to the street, before any construction companies were involved in lawsuits with the city, the roadway was an immediate nightmare for the city’s leader.
Dyster, a former resident of the road himself — his father still resides in the Lewiston Road home Dyster grew up in — said one of his first calls to anyone on his first day in office was to one of the city’s engineers about radiological surveys done on the roadway.
With radioactive slag buried beneath the existing street, the city needed to hold public information sessions, he said, in order to do the necessary work. The material, approximately 1,500 cubic yards, is now in a facility in Michigan, far from Niagara Falls residents, Dyster said.
Fast forward three years and the city’s troubles grew even more when the partnership between the city and its chosen contractor for the project, Man O’ Trees, came to a screeching halt. Citing not maintaining a proper timeline, the city fired its contractor and looked to hire someone new.