Nov 16, 2012 Erin Wisneski Uncategorized
Officials have opted for the safest plan for the Route 370 bridge repair, which also reflects cost savings for the state.
The New York State Department of Transportation’s decision will result in closure of the bridge for six to seven months beginning next fall, which will prevent west-bound access to the Cold Springs peninsula from Route 370 for all vehicles with the exception of west-bound emergency vehicles; a signal pre-emption system will be in place to allow emergency vehicles to cross the bridge during construction. All other west-bound traffic will be detoured at the intersection of John Glenn Boulevard and Route 370. The plan also includes closing the bridge, which crosses the Seneca River near Onondaga Lake, completely for two one-week periods.
“Providing one lane eastbound throughout most of the construction season is our preferred option because it addresses many traffic and public safety concerns associated with the previously presented full closure options,” said Carl F. Ford, Regional Director of Transportation in a letter to the town of Lysander.
While the plan is the best of three options when considering safety and cost, the decision has left Lysander officials disappointed as the closure time will have a significant impact on the town’s residents.
“The cast in place, while retaining one way traffic going east, will result in the longest construction time and will inconvenience a large number of Lysander residences,” said Supervisor John Salisbury. “As supervisor, I am somewhat disappointed at their choice of how the repair is going to be made in 2013.”
The DOT’s cast in place plan will cost $2.5 million with the eastbound-only lane open for six to seven months. In addition to the chosen plan, officials also reviewed two other options for the bridge repair: cast in place at a cost of $2.2 million with the bridge closed for 10 to 12 weeks and a precast method at a cost of $3 million with the bridge closed for four to six weeks. The precast method was the option town officials were hoping would be chosen. However, according to Ford, the precast didn’t fit with the needs of this project.
“Precast panels are a cost-effective option when replacing short span, high traffic volume interstate bridge decks. The use of precast concrete slabs at this location is not fiscally responsible or appropriate due to additional cost and length of the bridge,” Ford said in the letter. “The use of precast panels would require complete bridge closure for approximately six weeks at an additional cost of approximately $500,000. Due to fiscal constraints, we do not have the additional financial resources needed to use precast panel construction techniques on Cold Springs Road.”
Not all Lysander officials are disappointed with the decision. Emergency responders in Lysander are on board with the DOT’s choice for the safest option.
“We have studied varied options for the rehab project of the Cold Springs Bridge. We consider any options that will involve total closure of the bridge during the projects as not acceptable,” William J. Merriam, chairman of the board for the Belgium Cold Springs Fire District wrote in a letter to the NYS DOT.