In a win for Van Buren drivers, Thruway changes its mind and won’t demolish Canton Street bridge

Elizabeth Doran -

Van Buren — The state will replace the Canton Street bridge over the State Thruway in Van Buren, changing its position after residents opposed a plan to tear down the bridge and reroute local traffic.

After hearing complaints from residents and leaders in the area, the state agreed to replace the bridge, New York State Thruway Authority Executive Director Matthew J. Driscoll said today.

The bridge, at Canton Street and Brickyard Road in Warners, was built in 1954. It had to be either torn down or replaced because of its declining condition. Van Buren officials were among local leaders adamantly against removing the bridge without replacing it.

Residents were upset saying it was a vital and direct way to cross over the Thruway. Many pedestrians also used the bridge to get to church and school.

Sen. John Mannion told|The Post Standard this was a critical issue that he learned about while he was running for office.

“Sysco (a food supplier) is right there, and along with that we knew it was really important to the community from an emergency-vehicle standpoint to have this bridge,’' Mannion said.

Mannion said residents were concerned that removing the bridge would have added time for emergency vehicles and school buses.

The senator said he brought his concerns to the Thruway Authority and at a hearing in Albany.

Any cost to replacing the bridge is worth it, he said.

“The community has come to rely on that bridge,’' Mannion said.

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