Penfield, N.Y. --- A stretch of Route 441 just east of the Penfield Wegmans and extending to the Wayne County line is one many drivers dread. Just as the road narrows from four lanes to two the seemingly persistent pothole problem appears to be hitting its peak.
Last week after 13WHAM News told you about the concerns of drivers on Route 104 in Webster, a stream of emails and Facebook messages pointed us to Route 441 in Penfield. One viewer called it “a mess” while some others used words we can’t broadcast on the evening news.
"I mean the road is a disaster all the time,” Dwight Booth, who lives on Route 441 told us Tuesday. “All the time just potholes if you've gone down it you've seen them."
Booth and many of his neighbors also expressed concerns about various intersections with no turn lanes, steep ditches just feet of the roadway, and various blind spots thanks to trees or sunlight at certain times of the day.
"There is an accident about once a week up by that corner,” Booth said while nodding towards the intersection of 441 and Salt Road. “They usually end up out in my field up there."
Penfield Town Supervisor Anthony LaFountain tells 13WHAM News that the New York State Department of Transportation had big plans to renovate Route 441 from Dublin Road all the way to the Wayne County border. The plans included resurfacing of the road, widening the lanes and shoulder, adding additional turn lanes, and shaving down blind spots.
Supervisor LaFountain said the DOT presented its plans to residents and town leaders last year but in recent months made the decision to shelve the project because of a lack of funding. LaFountain has been told that the project could remain on hold for six or seven years and that pothole patching with some minor paving can be expected this summer.
“We’ll take the lemons we got and make the best lemonade we can with them,” LaFountain said of the situation from the town’s perspective.
A NYS DOT Spokeswoman said a final list of projects for this spring, summer, and fall is not yet complete but that she would relay that information to the public when it is. In the meantime she is encouraging drivers to call 1-800-POTHOLE to report any concerns on state roads.
New York State Senator James Alesi tells 13WHAM News that the condition of that road poses quality of life and safety concerns for folks who depend on it. Sen. Alesi also points out that most state funding for projects like this is used as a way to leverage federal funds; meaning that cuts from the federal level could also be partly to blame for the delay in roadwork.