Proposed road project will affect two towns in Herkimer County

The Herkimer County Highway Department is proposing a project to reconstruct Travis Road, which extends from Johnnycake Road to State Route 168 in the towns of Danube and Stark.

Posted: Feb 21, 2019 12:00 AM
Updated: Feb 21, 2019 12:58 AM

LITTLE FALLS, N.Y. - The Herkimer County Highway Department is proposing a project to reconstruct Travis Road, which extends from Johnnycake Road to State Route 168 in the towns of Danube and Stark.

The town of Danube held a meeting Wednesday night to give the Herkimer County Highway Department a chance to present plans, which are not final, explain the project, and answer some questions from residents.

The road is 1.72 miles long, .92 miles in Stark and .8 miles in Danube. This project would widen and straighten the road, making it more of a highway instead of a country road.

This project was approved last year by county legislators and the budget for the construction is about $1.2 million.

According to the highway superintendent for Herkimer County, the last major reconstruction of Travis Road was done in 1934 and it is not up to today's standards.

The supervisor for the town of Danube says something has to be done because the road is in bad shape.

"It's deteriorating and it needs repair and the folks there are concerned on how its repaired and what its going to do," Frank Brown, Danube Town Supervisor said. "What the people are concerned with, is with the road repaired, its going to make it a straight highway and people are going to be flying up and down.”

Many residents were at Wednesday night's meeting to voice their concerns. Many concerns are associated with safety.

Susan Westfield, a resident of Travis Rd. in the town of Danube, says her family has lived on the road for almost 50 years, and she is worried about will happen with this project.

"This is our little community," Westfield said. "Our children are on this road, I walk my dog up and down this road and the traffic speeds now." 

Residents and the town supervisor are also worried about the safety of the road.

"My concern is that more than one Herkimer County highway official has told me that there is a standard for the safety of the traveling public." Westfield said. "Which entails 10 foot travel lanes, two foot shoulders, and three foot ditches that total a 30 foot wide road, and it's inappropriate for the amount of traffic that this road sees, and it's inappropriate for the density of population."

There are many other aspects, such as taking down trees, relocating maiboxes, and possibly replacing utility poles, which would all be covered under this project. 

The next step is for both towns to decide if they want to proceed with this project. 

"My goal is to see the people who live on that road happy and the road repaired," Brown said.

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