LITTLE VALLEY — Cattaraugus County lawmakers called Wednesday for completion of the Route 219 Expressway between Springville and Salamanca. The resolution passed without comment.
Members of the County Legislature’s Development and Agriculture Committee introduced a resolution for immediate consideration calling for the completion of the expressway between Peters Road in the town of Ashford where the expressway currently dead-ends, to Salamanca and Interstate 86.
Howard VanRensselaer, R-Randolph, chairman of the Development and Agriculture Committee, stated in the resolution that “the completion of Route 219 as a four-lane highway is crucial to the future of Cattaraugus County.”
The resolution states several of the county’s largest employers, including Dresser-Rand in Olean, are basing their companies future strategies on having access to Route 219 as a major transportation network out of Buffalo.
Committee members further charged that “the failure for many years to complete the Route 219 freeway has resulted in the loss of many jobs in this county.” Tourism will also suffer unless the expressway “is completed in a timely manner.”
The resolution states, “The County Legislature hereby requests Governor Cuomo, the commissioner of the New York State Department of Transportation, Senator Young and Assemblyman Giglio to take whatever action is necessary to enable completion of the Route 219 project.”
The expressway project has been in limbo for several years with the state refusing to fund a supplemental environmental impact statement for the remaining 26 miles from Peters Road in Ashford to Interstate 86 in Salamanca. The project is not in the proposed state budget introduced by Gov. Cuomo.
Legislators tabled a resolution for a state Scenic Byway Corridor extending southward from Springville, where it would connect to the Erie County Southtowns Scenic Byway from East Aurora to Springville.
Robert Lennartz of Orchard Park, who represents the WNY Southtowns Scenic Byways Inc., said the group wants to extend the scenic byway system south, promoting economic development and community pride through thoughtful stewardship of natural, scenic, cultural, historical and recreational resources.