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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Funding for two upstate New York rail bridges ready

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Funding for two area bridge projects is now in place, according to state Sen. James Seward, R-Milford, local newspapers report. Work is expected to begin shortly on both the Pony Farm Road Bridge in Oneonta, N.Y., and the Brooker Hollow Road Bridge in East Worcester, N.Y., Seward said in a media release. The projects each have an estimated cost of about $600,000.


Both bridges, which span railroad tracks, have been deemed deficient by the state Department of Transportation, and a settlement with Canadian Pacific Railway brokered by Seward split the cost between the state and the railway. State funding was set aside three years ago.


Otsego County, which is administering the construction on Brooker Hollow Road Bridge, received $300,000 from Canadian Pacific on Aug. 5 and the town of Oneonta received $285,000 from the railway on Aug. 3. The towns will assume ownership of the bridges when the projects are complete. There are no local tax dollars being applied to the projects, Seward said in the release.


The Oneonta bridge shows obvious signs of stress, including rebar poking through crumbling concrete abutments. It was closed in late January 2008, and barriers are in place at each end.


The East Worcester bridge is in a similar situation, although it remains open. A temporary fix by the town has allowed vehicle traffic to use that bridge since January 2006. The bridge was deemed unsafe by the DOT in 2005.

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