Wayne Post
  • DOT making progress on canal bridges

  • Another bridge spanning the Erie Canal has been restricted, but the state Department of Transportation has reopened two others with plans in the works to repair still more.

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  • Another bridge spanning the Erie Canal has been restricted, but the state Department of Transportation has reopened two others with plans in the works to repair still more.
    The Lyons-Merengo Road, also known as Creager Road, bridge in the town of Galen was restricted last Thursday, Nov. 1 to vehicles weighing 3 tons or less. The bridge remains open to passenger vehicles, bicyclists and pedestrians. It was put in place following a recent inspection that revealed the bridge can no longer safely carry heavier traffic loads and will remain in effect until further notice. An official detour for heavier vehicles will not be posted, but trucks can use the bridge carrying Route 31 over the Erie Canal in Lyons, approximately 2 1/2 miles to the west.
    Lori Maher, regional publicity officer for the DOT, said to date every bridge that has been closed over the past 2 years has been due to “deterioration in major elements of the steel trusses. The state monitors bridge safety through a rigorous inspection system that analyzes the bridges for their capacity to carry vehicular loads.
    The number of bridge closures became an increasing concern with local residents as well as county officials.
    Among those concerned is the Western Erie Canal Alliance. Joan Delaro, project manager for Western Erie Canal Alliance, said their primary concerns included the limitation on the emergency equipment to cross the canal in a timely manner and the historical preservation of lift bridges and other structures and the economic impact on the communities. In particular, Delaro cited bridges such as Canandaigua Road and Wayneport Road causing a decrease in consumers to the Macedon and Palmyra area.
    “WECA will be supporting the counties in their efforts to resolve these issues and hopefully reopen safe bridges and restoring easy access to all communities as soon as possible,” she added.
    Maher said the DOT has over 1,700 bridges across the state to maintain and a limited amount of money to go around for those repairs. Over the last two months, the state has been able to reopen two bridges.
    The Leach Street bridge in Lyons was closed on Aug. 30, but maintenance crews were able to make the necessary repairs that allowed the bridge to be reopened on Sept. 21. The Galloway Road bridge in Palmyra was closed on July 26 after being posted at 18 tons, which accommodated most vehicles. The bridge reopened on Oct. 5 after crews also completed repairs.
    The County House Road bridge remains closed, Maher said after it became apparent that the repairs were more complex than anticipated. The repairs have been put up for cotract and when the bridge reopens is dependent on when the contractor can on board, Maher said.
    The East Avenue bridge in Newark remains restricted to cars only, but work on the Wayneport Road bridge is scheduled to begin in the early spring. The $992,000 capital project will require more than rehabilitation, but Maher said they will reuse as much of the original bridge as possible.
    Page 2 of 2 - The Canandaigua Road bridge in Macedon, closed on December of 2010 and previously posted at 5 tons, is in the design phase at this time, Maher said. The project is a high priority and the DOT anticipates work to begin on the bridge in 2015.
    The final bridge, Division Street in Palmyra, closed on June 29. Maintenance crews will begin working on repairs as soon as the canal’s navigation season closes. The DOT has been working with the village for some utility work, as well, Maher said. Crews should be able to work throughout the winter as weather permits.

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