Road Rage In Vestal

By WBNG News

July 27, 2011 Updated Jul 28, 2011 at 11:50 AM EDT

Town of Vestal, NY (WBNG Binghamton) There is road rage in the Town of Vestal as neighbors ask the town board for financial protection from potential road damage from natural gas truck traffic.

The town is already working to make the right turn before the trucks hit the pavement.

Hydro-fracking hasn't hit New York State yet, but trucks associated with site development and drilling could make their way to the Town of Vestal if the state gives hydro-fracking the green light.

Vestal residents hope the heavy truck loads don't turn the pavement into dirt.

Sue Rapp, co-founder of the Friends of Vestal, says neighbors are most concerned about the quality of life and the cost of the roads should they need to be replaced repaired.

"How are we going to live if we can't use the roads if the roads are destroyed by the gas company trucks," says Rapp.

Friends of Vestal presented more than 400 petitions to the Vestal Town Board Wednesday asking for careful consideration of this issue.

"We are hoping that the Town board, who we know are also concerned about this issue, will appoint an advisory committee to work with them on passing a strong road law that will protect Vestal town residents from the high costs that will come with replacing the roads and bridges," says Rapp.

Vestal leaders say they've already started charting a road map to secure their streets.

"We've looked at several municipalities that have already put in regulations and resolutions on road control maintenance and repair," says Town of Vestal Supervisor Peter Andreasen.

Broome County got as head start in 2010 by passing a road use agreement forcing any overweight trucks to foot the bill for road repair.

As town officials collect advice, they remain optimistic.

"In many cases, the information that we've received says that a lot of the roads are in better shape after they've (gas drilling companies) finished fixing them then they were before," says Andreasen.

For Vestal neighbors, they don't want to be left picking up the tab.

"The gas companies and not the tax payers should be liable for the use of our roads and any damage," says Rapp.

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is expected to release a report in the upcoming months highlighting specific transportation impacts of potential Marcellus Shale gas drilling.

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