Patch job coming for pothole alley

SARANAC LAKE – Motorists will have to run the gauntlet of potholes on Lake Flower Avenue a little longer.

The state Department of Transportation, which maintains the road because it’s part of state Route 86, said Thursday it plans to patch the road this spring, but a more specific timeline wasn’t immediately provided.

“Those will be fixed this spring through the normal course of pothole repairs,” Mike Flick, spokesman for Watertown-based DOT Region 7, told the Enterprise. “We won’t leave them.”

The crater-ridden road has been the source of plenty of grumbling from village residents and other motorists over the last few weeks. Many of the complaints have been directed at the village, even though it’s not in charge of maintaining the road.

“Has anyone driven from Aldi’s to NBT bank lately?” Eric Balcom of Saranac Lake posted on village Mayor Clyde Rabideau’s Facebook page sunday. “It’s a horror show.”

“It’s not only potholes, but terrible tire ruts in the cheap temporary blacktop which the DOT put down as a temporary fix to the Lake Flower (Avenue) problem,” posted Alan Roberts of Saranac Lake. “I just hope our cars don’t fall apart!”

In response, Rabideau posted an image of a sign he said he’d like to put at each end of Lake Flower Avenue. It says the road is not a village street.

“It belongs to the State, and we know it’s a Pothole Paradise,” the mayor’s mock sign reads. “It’s going to be Fixed … This Year! Honest!”

The road will eventually get a new coat of asphalt this season as part of a “temporary fix” of Lake Flower Avenue’s sidewalks, storm drainage and pavement, in partnership with the DOT. Meanwhile a major overhaul of the road remains on the agency’s long-term calendar.

Village Department of Public Works Superintendent Jeff Dora said his crews will resume work May 1 on drainage improvements that started last fall. Crews from Plattsburgh-based Luck Brothers construction will then move in to replace sections of sidewalk along the road.

“It’s going to be the majority of the summer of them working out there,” Dora said. “And then the state’s plan is, after Labor Day, to mill 2 inches (of pavement) off Lake Flower (Avenue), from NBT to Turtle Pond, and then they’re going to shim and put back 2 inches.

“When that’s all done, hopefully this will get us through until the big project, whenever that happens,” Dora added.

Contact Chris Knight at 891-2600 ext. 24 or