One of the final steps needed in the long-awaited reconstruction of Lewiston Road will be taken by the Niagara Falls City Council on Monday.

Members are expected to approve bonding for $2.5 million to cover the city’s portion of the $14 million federally aided project to repair the stretch of Route 104 that runs from Ontario Avenue through the DeVeaux community. Senior Planner Thomas DeSantis said the approval is needed from the city before the state Department of Transportation authorizes a construction contract and allows the city to seek out work bids.

“The pieces are all moving together,” DeSantis said.

Considered to be among the worst drives in the city, Lewiston Road is riddled with potholes and crumbling pavement. Its reconstruction has been a top priority for more than a decade, but numerous delays and roadblocks have prevented the city from bidding out the massive project, which will be 80 percent federally refunded.

After federal and state funds were dedicated to pay for most of the total project cost in the late 1990s, work was estimated to begin in 2002, but later pushed back to 2004. The project’s main setbacks have been environmental issues at various spots under the road and finalizing an agreement with CSX Transportation, which controls a train overpass that intersects with Lewiston Road.

A federal report completed in 1986, but not made public until 2006, identified higher-than-normal radioactive levels on Lewiston Road, forcing the city to do additional testing. That led to the discovery of hazardous material, and the cost of removal increased the project to $14 million and left the city trying to secure more state funding. The roadway has since been given a clean report by the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

City officials have spent the last few months finalizing an agreement with CSX to allow work under its overpass where Main Street meets Lewiston Road.

DeSantis said once the council approves bonding $2.5 million, the state DOT will finalize the construction contract, a process that could take several weeks. Once construction bids go out, DeSantis anticipates work can finally begin this summer.

Council Chairman Chris Robins, who has made Lewiston Road’s reconstruction a priority during his four years in office, said he’s happy work will begin before he leaves office at the end of the year.

“It would’ve been good if it started three years ago but at least it seems like everything is in place to start soon,” he said. “This isn’t just a goal for me, it’s a goal for everyone. Lewiston Road is one of our major streets in the city that’s in disrepair.”