Meadow Drive Extension project to move forward
After years of pressing the issue to gain ownership of a few parcels of land, previously owned CSX, the City of North Tonawanda has obtained what they need in order to move forward with the project.
The project has been delayed for quite some time now, because CSX would not provide the city with the proper paper work needed for the Department of Transportation (DOT) to release the allocated funds for the project. Although funds are available to start the project, the necessary steps needed to be taken in order to proceed.
“This has been a long standing issue,” said North Tonawanda Mayor Rob Ortt. “CSX has been the main culprit in delaying the project.”
CSX and the city have been going back and forth since 2007 regarding ownership of a crossing that passes through property owned by the CSX.
The city, who obtained a court order to pursue moving forward with this process, luckily did not have to revisit this issue in court.
“I think this just has not been a priority for CSX,” said Ortt. “This process has taken longer than Walmart did, and it’s just a road we’re are talking about.”
Although the funds are available for the project, the DOT will not release those funds to the city so that the project can move forward, without the city gaining ownership of those parcels.
Although CSX did not have a choice in the matter, they did cause a delay by not provided the necessary paperwork.
Ortt, along with Mayor to the Assistant Bob Welch and Dale Marshall have pushed this project because the creation of the Meadow Drive Extension will connect two of North Tonawanda’s vital business districts.
The extension will connect Erie Avenue, which is close to the new site of Walmart and hopefully a growing economic location, to the downtown district.
“This will link the two districts, increase traffic flow, and connect the two vital districts,” said Ortt.
Once the city ties up the remaining loose ends by obtaining a certification from the third party consultant and take the proper legal channels necessary to pursue this project, the project will be under way.
Ortt hopes to have the project started and completed in the Spring of 2013.