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Decision of weight restrictions tabled for East State Street in village

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LOWVILLE — Damage to East State Street in the village raised the prospect of imposing weight restrictions on the two-mile roadway stretch.

At Wednesday’s public hearing on restricting traffic on the street, village board members fielded concerns from residents and business owners.

A decision on the proposed law was tabled.

“I think our board had good intentions,” Trustee Dennis G. Bishop said. “But there’s a lot we need to look into.”

The law would have kept vehicles over 10,000 pounds off the street. The average weight of an empty tractor-trailer varies, said Thomas S. Compo, superintendent of public works, “anywhere from 35,000 to 45,000 pounds.”

The board’s consensus, and the public’s, is that a state Department of Transportation construction project in downtown Lowville two years ago accustomed drivers to using East State Street as an alternative route. Truck drivers use the road as a bypass from Route 12 to Route 812.

“The smart guys know that’s the best way,” said Timothy L. “Sam” Moore, attending with fellow employees of Lowville concrete company V.S. Virkler & Sons Inc.

Mr. Compo said that although the road was paved only two years ago, its condition is poor and worsening. The road was built with reclaimed asphalt and not intended for the traffic it now receives.

Not only that, the width of some trucks forces other vehicles to the road’s edge. The road’s shoulders are also deteriorating.

Concerns with imposing the weight restriction are numerous.

Traffic would be increased downtown, including the school zone at Lowville Academy. Local truck traffic would also be affected, unless an allowance is granted for local deliveries.

Legal questions arose about how to define local traffic. Virkler trucks frequently use the road, but not necessarily for delivery in the village. The Virkler business is headquartered on East State Street.

“It can’t just be a weight limit for people we don’t like,” said village attorney Mark G. Gebo.

The board promised not to pass laws restricting local businesses. Also discussed was a suggestion to pass weight restrictions solely at the ends of the road, nearest Route 12 and Route 812.

The board plans to discuss the proposed law further at the June 18 board meeting set for 5:30 p.m. at the municipal office, 5535 Bostwick St.

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