Advertisement
Search Sponsored by:
Friday, December 19, 2014
Canajoharie, NY ,
Advertisement

State to repair Otsquago Creek bridge

Thursday, April 24, 2014 - Updated: 9:57 AM

By HEATHER NELLIS

For the C-S-E

FORT PLAIN -- The state's recently adopted budget includes $500,000 to rebuild the Otsquago Creek pedestrian bridge, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Tuesday.

The bridge was torn down by emergency construction crews in late July last year. The 320-ton former railroad bridge was damaged when the Otsquago Creek swelled to historic levels June 28. The high water shifted the structure from its abutments, and its failure represented a flood threat.

It was a link on the 400 mile recreational-use Erie Canalway Trail; a trail that contributes to the local economy because of the cyclists and other users who shop and dine in the village during their treks.

"Having that bridge back will be a big boost to our local economy," Fort Plain Mayor Guy Barton said today. "Over the winter, its absence eliminated the income of snowmobilers. We tried to find an alternative, but it didn't work."

Barton said he's met with Parks and Rec officials, who said the project design is already complete, and it was put to bid last month.

"They explained to us that they were waiting on funding, and now they have it," Barton said.

Barton said it is expected the bridge construction will be complete by the fall.

Emergency crews commissioned by the Department of Transportation worked day and night nearly three weeks straight to remove the Otsquago Creek bridge last year. The last of the bridge was taken down July 22.

Removing the bridge meant erasing the possibility of it falling in the creek, and blocking the creek's outlet into the Mohawk River.

Former Montgomery County Economic Development Specialist Jacki Meola said last year she suspected the loss of the bridge could impact tourism.

"Anything that stops someone from stopping in a location is going to have an impact on tourism," she said. "We obviously need to get past the safety issues before we worry about anything else, but we certainly are concerned about gaps on the path."

Meola said the county sees a significant amount of cyclists who use the trail, and the county additionally participates in the annual Bike NY cycle sponsored by the Erie Canalway Heritage Corridor. The 400 mile trek features an overnight stop in Canajoharie.

"Between the Mohawk River and the trail, they're our biggest assets that we have to offer," she said.

According to a news release, the project is one of 69 that will improve and repair 53 state parks and historic sites. The projects amount to $90 million.

The pedestrian bridge was identified by U.S. Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand as one structure that will be eligible for repair using some of the $5 million in "immediate" storm relief funding to help state, local and municipal governments rebuild roads and highways affected by flooding.

As previously reported, $245,000 was also allocated to construct 4.6 miles of trail to help close the gap between Amsterdam and Pattersonville on the Erie Canalway Trail.

     

Comments made about this article - 0 Total

Comment on this article

Advertisement
Advertisement

Copyright © Port Jackson Media

Privacy Policies: Courier Standard Enterprise

Contact Us