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Salmon Creek Bridge

Two bridges that span Salmon Creek are slated for replacement, but deterioration of the bridge on Route 34B has caused the New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) to make repairs earlier than the bridge can be replaced.  Earlier this month Lansing School Superintendent Chris Pettograsso released a statement saying the weight limit had been reduced to 9 tons, and soon afterward it had been raised to 18 tons, but the DOT would be implementing alternating one-way operation to allow for the greater weight.  At the Lansing Town Board meeting Wednesday Councilman Joe Wetmore provided an update  the upcoming replacement of the two bridges, and the repairs on the Route 34B bridge.

"My understanding is that they should be doing repair work on it right now," Wetmore said. "They're hoping to have that done by mid-November.  The bridge is slated for replacement starting in 2021.  They should have contracts in place by the fall of 2020.  They're hoping to start construction in the Spring of 2021."

At last month's board meeting Wetmore said he was concerned that there was no apparent coordination in timing for the two bridge projects.  While truck detours will route vehicles north on Route 34 so trucks could swing back onto 34B, it can be realistically expected that when the 34B bridge is closed for an estimated two years, cars will either travel on Myers Road or through Ludlowville.  Wetmore feared too much traffic would end up on Myers Road if both bridges were closed at the same time.  He said he stressed the importance of coordinating the projects to avoid worse traffic problems than the closings will individually cause, especially when the Route 34B bridge is closed for two years.

"There is going to be a detour during that entire two years," Wetmore said.  "We can expect a lot of traffic issues."

At a 2017 informational meeting at the Lansing Town Hall DOT officials said they hoped to begin replacing the 34B bridge, closing it to traffic beginning demolition around the first day of Spring in 2019.  But the project was delayed, and further deterioration required repairs that are currently under way.

DOT officials said their plan is to remove the 87 year old bridge entirely and replace it with a new design.  The new bridge will replace the current 11 foot east and westbound lanes and narrow 3.7 foot shoulders with standard 12 foot lanes and 8 foot shoulders, two feet wider than standard shoulders.

The old arch-designed bridge will be replaced with by a design that uses angled girders to distribute the weight load from the deck that will be rated for the maximum legal load for trucks.  DOT officials said the new design will not have as many welds and is expected to last at least 75 years.  The existing bridge was built in 1930 - the structural deck has exceeded its intended service life of 40 years by a decade.

Pettograsso said that despite the 18 ton limit that school buses would be rerouted to avoid the bridge during the time it is being repaired.

"We do not know the impact of the alternating one way operation of the bridge on traffic flow, bus routes, and timing," she said. "Please be patient, take your time, watch for any student walkers, and give yourself ample time in the morning."

Wetmore said the DOT hopes to start repairs on the Ludlowville Bridge this Spring(2020).  He said it is expected to be a one year project, with the plan being to finish the bridge in Ludlowville before replacing the 24B bridge.  He told the Town Board that he has requested more information on the new designs for the two bridges and promised to pass that information to the rest of the Town Board as soon as he receives them.

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