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Two local bridges will be projects

TRI-COUNTY AREA—The Department of Transportation is gearing up for two bridge projects in the area, between Watkins Glen and Hammondsport, and between Penn Yan and Hammondsport.
Construction will take place on bridges on Route 54 and where Route 226 meets Route 23 in Tyrone. Michael Griffin, assistant regional design engineer for the DOT, said both bridges have reached the end of their service lives.
The bridge on Route 54 is located over Arey Creek, near Camp Arey. Griffin said the total cost of bridge construction will be $1.5 million That also includes $175,000 for building and taking down of a temporary bridge. He said the project is expected to start 2010.
The project is similar to the Route 23 bridge project the DOT did last summer. The temporary bridge was built first, right next to the old one. When it is finished, traffic will be directed onto the temporary bridge while work is done on a new bridge. Griffin said the DOT has designed the bridge to have traffic go through at 35 miles per hour. He added that to make the road curve enough for 45 mph would have needed more land both north and south of the bridge. He said people with properties at the area of construction will still be able to access their driveways.
In 2010, the expected start time is April 1 and the end time is Nov. 1. Griffin said they are currently in the process of notifying and getting permission from landowners who will be affected by the project. He also said the DOT expects no major impact on the community. The other options they considered was detouring traffic elsewhere, but the DOT decided against it.
Griffin said the intersection where Routes 226 and 23 meet has a lot of traffic going back and forth from Watkins Glen and Hammondsport. He said this project is expected to cost $2 million, but would start in 2011. This project would not be the same as the Route 54 one as there would not be a temporary bridge and alternate routes would have to be established.
The bridge itself would also not be the same as the old one. Griffin explained that 10 feet would be added to the width and the north end would be raised 24 to 30 inches. The bridge’s length would remain the same. Where Route 23 meets 226, coming from the hamlet of Tyrone, will also be moved 50 feet north.
While under construction, part of the intersection/bridge would be closed off to traffic. Coming from Watkins Glen on Route 23/Mud Lake Road, traffic will only be able to turn right onto Route 226. The bridge, being to the right, and the short stretch of Route 226 going until it meets with Mud Lake/Hammondsport Road, will be closed for construction. The final bit of road that will also be closed off is where Route 23 comes from Tyrone, meeting with Route 226.
Griffin said the alternative route could include, if coming from Watkins Glen, turning left onto Route 226. To head back towards towards Hammondsport, drivers would turn onto Route 23A which goes to Route 23. However, it is all not confirmed yet.
Tyrone board member Edward Perry said the work would definitely improve the bridge.
Griffin has presented the DOT’s plans to both town boards immediately affected by the projects, the towns of Tyrone and Barrington.


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