Posted at: 08/13/2013 6:09 PM
| Updated at: 08/13/2013 6:15 PM
By: John McLoughlin
With so many of New York's bridges rated as "structurally deficient” - about 13 percent by one count, the replacement of one local bridge should come as welcome news.
That bridge, linking Cohoes with Waterford, is 81 years old, and a public hearing is being held Tuesday night about replacing it.
But, there are other local bridges said to be even worse.
By the state's own reckoning, the Cohoes-Waterford bridge is "not" structurally deficient, and there are at least ten other local spans considered to be in worse condition.
D.O.T.'s spokesman Bryan Viggiani says it’s simply time to replace an 81-year-old bridge that gets used by 17 thousand vehicles each day.
“Bottom line is this bridge needs to be replaced, one way or another,” says Viggiani.
But the D.O.T. itself rates 10 other local bridges in worse shape including two Northway spans over Albany-Shaker road..
Both of those get condition ratings below four points.
Both are deemed structurally deficient that is not so for the Cohoes-Waterford span which also gets a higher rating.
On Route 32, the state has two different, but somewhat similar plans for replacing the Route 32 bridge, promising very little traffic disruption to the residents of Waterford's "Northside Neighborhood", who depend on the bridge.
“All the bridges in New York are in pretty bad shape, and I am 100% for it,” said one man.
Northside business people however seem a little scared of what could happen
“I think it’s going to hurt business. You’re going to have to go a ways around, just to get around it,” says Tim Austin, a hardware store manager.
On Fuller Road, site of another new bridge some merchants say the traffic problems almost put them out of business.
"My business is half of what it was six months ago,” says Don Fittizzi of The Deli Warehouse on Fuller Road.
The D.O.T. assures this bridge replacement will not cause the area to be cut off from the rest of the world.
The first of two public hearings is at 6:30 Tuesday night at the Waterford-Halfmoon Junior Senior High School,
Another hearing will be held Thursday, at the Cohoes Community Center.
Construction is not due to begin until five years from now
As for those Northway bridges, D.O.T. says their replacement is in the planning stages.