Industry Reports

Seneca Nation, State Bury the Hatchet in the Name of Improved Thruway

The dispute between Seneca Nation of Indians and New York State has not been resolved for the time being, but a temporary solution to the complications has been found recently. The two feuding parties have come to the conclusion that roadworks should be done as soon as possible before the winter season takes its toll once again.

New York State Thruway that runs through the Seneca Nation’s Territory is going to witness long-anticipated repair work in the foreseeable future. After years of delays and inefficient conversation around the stretch of road that runs through the tribal community, a solution might be on the horizon.

The road in question has not been subjected to roadworks for several years now, resulting in its worsened condition. Instead of improving it, a sign has been placed, warning drivers that the next kilometers would guarantee them a bumpy ride.

Collaboration Would Guarantee Results

This week saw the official announcement of an agreement between the Native American tribe and the state, seeking better condition for the main road part of Seneca Nation’s Territory.

Seneca Nation President Ricky Armsong made it clear that collaboration between the tribe and the state is key in this situation, something that has been experienced over the past week. Putting an equal amount of work into the project, as well as taking into account the timeframe of this roadwork project.

Winter is coming and preparation ahead of time would be crucial in this situation. The upcoming weeks are scheduled to see the first phase of this project that would include stabilizing the riding surface of the road stretch, as well as making lane visibility better.

Those solutions would bring improvement ahead of the New York state winter and prepare the ground for what is to come. As for the second phase of this project, it is projected to last some ten weeks and it is possible that it could be all done before winter even arrives. Milling and paving are projected to complete the agreement and result in an improved driving experience for everybody.

Roadworks Come after Five Years of Delay

After five years of miscommunications and delayed meeting on the subject, the New York State Thruway Authority prompted the Native American tribe to commence roadworks related to the Thruway stretch. The three-mile stretch part of the tribal community has not seen any repairs or restoration over the past years, eventually leading to its considerably worsened condition.

Conversation has been on and off ever since 2014. The idea of renewed talks on roadworks came last week, meaning that over the span of the past few days, both the state and the tribe have been collaborating on a mutually beneficial arrangement. Mr. Armstrong also pointed out that the dispute should not be a matter of wide discussion now that both parties look in one direction, ready for a positive impact.

Meanwhile, Salamanca Mayor Michael Smith stated earlier this summer that the community was in need of some US$15 million, as the city coffers were about to run dry. Roadworks related to State roads 219 and 417 were envisioned. The City recently bagged some US$2,350,000, part of a larger state support allocation.