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Penn Yan bridge is losing strength

PENN YAN—”The bridge on Liberty Street in Penn Yan is in it’s declining years.”
New York State Department of Transportation engineer Mike Griffin made this statement at the beginning of the latest meeting scheduled to inform area residents of the plan to replace the bridge.
The Aug. 24 meetingwas held to gain input from local residents about the project and to provide information about the $1.8 million project, which is expected to last from mid-September 2011 to June 2012.
Griffin emphasized the bridge is not unsafe, but the steel beams and concrete in the bridge, built in 1956, are losing strength. Griffin said the bridge is in its declining years and the replacement next year has been scheduled so that it doesn’t get load posted in the next 10 years.
Griffin said the biggest problem during construction will be how to maintain traffic. The Main Street bridge will be the main route over the Keuka Lake Outlet. On the north side of that bridge, Water Street will be a dead end and Wagner Street will be one-way going west from Main to Liberty Street.
Truck traffic coming into the village from the north will be routed onto North Avenue at Soldiers & Sailors Hospital, then south on Main Street.  
Griffin said there will be detour signs that will help visitors. New traffic signals will be installed on Main Street near Wagner and parking will be prohibited on Main Street from Lake Street to Wagner. Pedestrians will have to use the Main Street bridge to access the area north of the outlet. The pedestrian trail under the Liberty Street bridge will be closed during the construction period.
One challenge will be maintaining utilities during construction. Gas, electric, water, telephone and cable lines are under the existing bridge. Another challenge is that the work site is a confined area. A massive warehouse is at the north edge of the bridge and commercial buildings are near the bridge on the south.
The project is expected to produce challenges during its six month run. Although the meeting was publicized, just one member of the public attended. 



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