Senator Kennedy Announces Upcoming Start for Zurbrick Road Project

 

After decade of setbacks, project will finally break ground in mid-September.

CHEEKTOWAGA, N.Y. – Senator Tim Kennedy announced work will finally begin on the long-delayed Zurbrick Road project starting mid-September. The project will start with the remediation of waste left behind from the former Depew Landfill and the stabilization of the stream bank.

Cheektowaga Supervisor Mary Holtz and Depew Mayor Steven Hoffman joined Kennedy Tuesday to commend the Department of Environmental Conservation for pressing this project forward.

After years of setbacks and delay, Kennedy made this project a priority of his office and urged the DEC to move plans forward. Zurbrick Road – which runs along Cayuga Creek – has been closed to traffic for several years due to rapid erosion. Once the remediation and stabilization project is complete, work can then begin on reconstructing the road.

The contract for the work was awarded to Russo Development, a Blasdell-based contractor experienced in environmental projects, and the project engineer will be Ecology and Environment, an international leader in environmental management headquartered in Lancaster.

“After enduring a decade of uncertainty, Zurbrick Road homeowners finally have an answer. The stabilization and remediation project will start this construction season. This is an important and long-awaited step forward, and it moves us closer to the reconstruction of this crumbling road,” said Senator Kennedy. “We’re thrilled the DEC has kept this priority project on track and will get shovels in the ground in September. I want to thank the local leaders who joined us in standing up for this important project, as well as the contractor, Russo Development, and project engineer, Ecology and Environment, for being prepared to start work so quickly. The DEC deserves great credit for pushing this project forward.”

Cheektowaga Supervisor Mary Holtz stated, “Finally, the residents of Zurbrick Road will have relief after enduring these terrible road conditions for so long. I thank Senator Tim Kennedy for keeping an eye on this project and encouraging the DEC to move this project forward.”

Depew Mayor Steven Hoffman said, “The Village of Depew welcomes Russo Development Inc. along with Ecology & Environment Inc to complete the DEC cleanup of the Depew Village Landfill Site. Once the project is completed, Zurbrick Road will be rebuilt.”

“Russo Development is ready to get started on this project,” said Eric Warren of Russo Development. “The residents on Zurbrick Road have waited a long time to hear that work will finally begin, and we’re excited to partner with the DEC on this important remediation and stabilization job. I want to thank Senator Kennedy for working to drive this priority project forward to a start date this construction season.”  

When the contractor completes the remediation and bank stabilization project, the municipalities can then begin reconstructing Zurbrick Road. This extensive remediation project – which has been designated a State Superfund Site – is expected to be completed next year.

Several years ago, a significant portion of Zurbrick Road collapsed, as the Cayuga Creek stream bank eroded below it. The road was closed, and local municipal leaders were left searching for a fix. Unfortunately, they knew there was no easy solution to the problem. 

Efforts to stabilize the eroding Zurbrick Road stream bank began in 2001 when the Army Corps of Engineers started constructing a retaining wall along Cayuga Creek. Work was halted when they discovered hazardous waste materials at the site. The contaminated soil is the result of the 210,000 tons of solid waste that were dumped at the old Depew Village Landfill while it was in operation from 1940-1961.  

The project was referred to the DEC, which dealt with some initial delays related to cost concerns and then began studying different methods for cleaning up the site. In 2009, the DEC issued a proposal to clean up the contamination and stabilize the stream bank and Zurbrick Road slope. The site was labeled Class 2 in the DEC Inactive Hazardous Waste Site Program, which made it absolutely essential to remove this contamination and stabilize the slope.

Over the past few months, there has been significant progress. This project is now on track and moving forward, and Russo Development is prepared to break ground and get started in mid-September. Russo will be working with Ecology and Environment, Inc., the engineer for the project.

“This is yet another example of Governor Cuomo and his administration getting things done where previous administrations have failed,” Kennedy added. “The leadership of the Governor and the new energy at the DEC are ensuring priority projects like this move forward to completion.”  

Earlier this summer, Kennedy, Holtz and Hoffman gathered at Zurbrick Road to urge the DEC to expedite the project. Kennedy also previously contacted the DEC Commissioner to ask for his attention to this project and encourage a start date for this construction season.