Candor bridge reopens before scheduled

By Kelly McCarthy

August 21, 2013 Updated Aug 21, 2013 at 6:35 PM EDT

Candor, NY (WBNG Binghamton) After nearly two years of detours, a bridge in Candor is back open to the village. Cars can once again travel along the State Route 96 bridge covering Catatonk Creek.

There isn't always a ribbon-cutting ceremony once a construction project is finished, but instead of just taking down the detour signs, the Candor community decided there needed to be more acknowledgment.

Community members organized a ribbon cutting to show its support for the completed bridge that will once again connect the village.

The bridge closed in December of 2011 after receiving a poor bridge inspection report. It's original completion date was for the fall of 2014 but that shortly pushed up to September of this year. The project was then finished about a month earlier than expected and is now open to the public.

The regional director of the Department of Transportation said he heard after several public meetings that this project needed to be completed quickly to keep a certain area of Candor profitable.

"The businesses," said Region 9 Director Jack Williams, "The businesses by far were the area where all of the leaders were the most concerned about Candor and the business community and really we found that we had to wrap our arms around that problem and do the things we did to accelerate that project."

Business owners along State Route 96 said they saw less traffic and fewer sales during the construction period.

"Big changes," said Dennis Rose, Owner of Punk's Place, "The other corner was very busy all the time. It was hard to get in and out of our place. People didn't take the time to stop at that point they just went right on through or around. So it was quite a difference for us."

Candor students return to school on September 4th and people said buses can now travel directly to the school on Academy Street.

"The school being open next week," said Village Trustee Nancy King, "It's going to make it easy for the bus garage, which is located on this end of the bridge to get to the other side and to the school, and the bus routes will have a much easier and shorter distance to go."

The project cost $2.75 million to complete.