CANAAN–Channel 13 WNYT in Albany joined local elected officials for a first-hand look at State Route 22 between Peaceful Valley Road in Canaan and State Route 20 in New Lebanon. Both local and state elected officials have called on the State Department of Transportation to repair, mill and pave dangerous sections of the highway. The 10 miles of road have been a “priority” of DOT Region 8 for over 10 years.
The Canaan and the New Lebanon town boards, and the Columbia County Board of Supervisors all have passed resolutions recently, each of which noted:
• The heavily traveled highway has not been paved in 25 years, while 10-15 years is the norm, and the road is in unacceptable condition, with a multitude of dangerous potholes and sections of eroded pavement
• The state DOT is continually patching the damaged pavement at a substantial annual cost to taxpayers, but temporary patches leave loose pavement frequently thrown onto windshields, creating additional hazards for drivers
• There have been multiple accidents and motorists experiencing flat tires, bent rims and axles, and worse, particularly at night, when drivers cannot see the condition of the road
• Motorists and truckers are now avoiding the road by detouring on town and county roads, thereby contributing to deterioration of those roads, such as County Route 5
• Residents on this section of Route 22 are sustaining continuous damages to their vehicles and have posted their own signs warning motorists of the road conditions
• State Route 22 is a major north/south route from downstate to upstate, supporting tourism and economic development
Conditions for a serious or fatal accident currently exist and the likelihood of such an accident increases as long as Route 22 is not properly repaved.
A letter to Canaan Highway Superintendent Bernhard Meyer from a local resident whose daily commute on the highway to work reported that she has had “to replace all of my tires Three times in the past 13 months and I’ve never had to replace them that often before… Never!”
Mr. Meyer noted that the town is not responsible for the route and is prohibited from working on it.
Both Canaan Supervisor Rick Keaveney and New Lebanon Supervisor Colleen Teal emphasized the dangerous deteriorating conditions on Route 22. They want to see repaving this year and not have it put off.
Canaan Board member Brenda Adams compared repaving in a timely manner to changing oil in a car routinely. Money spent saves on more costly and preventable damages and repairs.
DOT Region 8 says that it is repaving a section of Route 22 near the Canaan I-90 interchange. Local officials say those repairs are to fix repaving done improperly less than two years ago.