Whitney Point, NY (WBNG Binghamton) The NYS Department of Transportation held a community meeting to present the preferred alternative for construction on the bridge connecting State Routes 26 and 79 in Whitney Point.
After gathering input from the public and reviewing several proposals, the NYSDOT is hopeful that they have found a solution to the Tioughnioga bridge problem.
Experts have found that although the bridge is safe for the time being, many concerns have arisen for the future.
Roadway width, shoulder width, and approach grades are some of current bridge's geometric deficiencies. In addition, several other safety issues have been brought to the NYSDOT's attention, including sight distance, and inspection ratings.
The preferred plan has taken all of these shortfalls into consideration, and the NYSDOT has decided the safest and most effective way to address these is a complete replacement of the current bridge.
An open-house style meeting allowed community members to review numerous visuals and talk to NYSDOT members. A formal presentation followed with project manager John Fitzgerald.
The plan is not permanent yet, but both authorities and community members are hopeful that construction of the new bridge will become a reality.
"It looks like it's well thought out. It's been the sight of many traffic problems and accidents. Looking at the posters and pictures, it looks well-designed, I think the community's quite anxious for this, and we're happy to see it come in," said Whitney Point resident Rick Wheeler.
If it is decided to go ahead with the new plan, road work is not scheduled to start until 2015. Another public meeting will be held closer to that time to discuss traffic flow and management during the construction phase.