ONEONTA, 08/10/09 -- State Senator James L. Seward (R/C/I – Oneonta) today announced that railroad funding toward the cost of the replacement of two railroad bridges in Otsego County has been received by local officials and construction work should begin shortly.
Otsego County will replace the Brooker Hollow Road bridge in the Town of Worcester and the Town of Oneonta will replace the railroad bridge spanning State Route 7 and Pony Farm Road in the Town of Oneonta.
“Residents have been patiently awaiting the bridge reconstruction projects,” said Seward. “This is good news for those who rely on the bridges to get to work and to school and businesses that depend on the spans for their transportation needs. Improved access for first responders and municipal vehicles will also mean improved safety.”
Seward secured a $600,000 state grant to cover one-half of the construction expenses and then negotiated an agreement with Canadian Pacific Rail (CP Rail) to cover the $585,000 balance and absorb $200,000 in engineering costs. Otsego County received $300,000 from CP Rail on August 5th and the Town of Oneonta received $285,000 from CP Rail on August 3rd. The towns will accept ownership of the spans when completed.
“The bridge replacement work will take place without the use of local taxpayer dollars, certainly a major plus in today’s tight economic climate,” Seward added.
The Pony Farm Road bridge was closed in January by the state. A temporary fix has allowed the Brooker Hollow Road bridge to remain open.
“Senator Seward has been extremely helpful in bringing all sides to the table and ensuring the best possible outcome that protects our residents and our bottom line,” said Otsego County Representative Donald Lindberg, Worcester. “We all worked hard to get it done.”
Otsego County is in the final design stage for the Brooker Hollow Road bridge. Officials expect to solicit bids in September and anticipate construction by the end of November.
“The bridge agreements are the result of several sides coming together to do what is best for those who live and work in Otsego County. I am pleased the long-awaited spans will be in place soon,” concluded Seward.