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September 25, 2018

Broadway Bridge Shutdown Has Been an Annoyance, Not a Crisis, Officials Say


Some of the nighttime work underway on the Broadway bridge after the nightly shutdown.

Some of the nighttime work underway on the Broadway bridge after the nightly shutdown.

Fulton Police have written a lot of tickets in the days since the state began repairing the Broadway bridge.

Police Chief Orlo Green told members of the Common Council Monday night that officers have written more than 80 tickets since July 1.  Nearly all of them are for turning left onto Route 48 from the bridge.

When the bridge closed, the traffic pattern changed.  Drivers wanting to head south on 48 from the bridge have to go one block farther, turning left onto Second St. and then making their way back to 48.

“People violate the left turn all the time,” said Council member Peter Franco.

Green said his officers did not hand out tickets during the first two weeks of the change.  Instead, they issued warnings — 53 of them in the first four hours of the change.

Since then, they’ve written 77 tickets for failing to obey a traffic control device, which compares to 16 tickets for the same offense for the entire first half of the year.

They’re also writing tickets for blocking the intersection during the nightly traffic jams.

The situation escalated a couple of weeks ago, when the state began shutting down the bridge at 6:00 p.m. daily so they can safely rip apart the southern half of the bridge.

The closing has caused a daily traffic jam, with backups of 15 minutes or more to get across the Oneida St. bridge.

Green said that the backups tend to ease by about 7:30 p.m.  He said the shutdown forces an extra 4,000 cars per day across the Oneida St. bridge.  He said that on an average pre-shutdown day, just under 17,000 cars cross the bridge.  After the shutdown, the average jumps to more than 21,000 per day.

“I think people are shocked when you talk about these kinds of numbers,” said Green.

Mayor Ron Woodward said that the Oneida St. bridge is flowing as well as could be expected. “The lights are working good and the cars are moving.  It’s 10, 15 minutes on the bridge.”

Green said that emergency vehicles have had no trouble crossing the Oneida St. bridge because they can use the breakdown lane in the center of the bridge to get through.  The department had initially stationed an officer on the west side of the bridge once the construction work began, but has gone back to normal because no problems have occurred.

“It became apparent that (the bridge shutdown) wasn’t the horror show we thought it might be,” said Green.

Councilor Dan Knopp noted that the businesses directly on the west end of the Broadway bridge — a diner, bike store and grocery store — all have suffered lost business.

The overnight shutdown of the Broadway bridge ends in a couple of weeks, with two lanes remaining open all day and all night through the winter.

Next year, the other half of the bridge will undergo the same work and will require the same overnight shutdown of the bridge.

4 Responses “Broadway Bridge Shutdown Has Been an Annoyance, Not a Crisis, Officials Say”

  1. Charles Rinoldo
    September 18, 2012 at 8:24 am

    Before beginning this project why didn’t the state DOT place an advanced green on 481 heading north at the intersection with Oneida street and place the light on east first and Oneida flashing yellow on the Oneida street side. Cars continue to block the 481 and Oneida street intersection after the light changes red, thereby bottling up southbound traffic on 481.
    While they are at it there should also be an advanced green on Oneida and 481 when heading east on Oneida. Try to make that move at certain times of the day?

  2. toni kurowski
    September 18, 2012 at 1:18 pm

    there is NO WAY it takes 15 minutes to cross Oneida Bridge. Last Friday, it took over 45 minutes to get from Route 3 and Oneida to Route 48. This is not the first time that this has occurred. As far as cars in intersections, timing of the lights should be staggered so more than 4 cars can get through a light change as we experienced. The mess crossing Route 481 is nothing compared to the people trying to cross Oneida from side streets. This is an accident waiting to happen. Tickets are nice for revenue, but does nothing for good will of people going into Fulton. Extremely poor planning for this shutdown.

  3. ttcuster
    September 18, 2012 at 4:34 pm

    I agree with Toni…but it’s hard to tell when you sit your butt behind a desk all day long….back in the 60’s when they did this they had 24 police and that included the Chief and the detectives and they were still able to post an officer at the intersections to keep traffic moving and also have two officers on foot patrol in the dizzy block…Now you can’t say anything bad about the police force at any of the meetings but now we have 33 and that doesn’t include the Chief or the detectives. And they say there are 47% of the people living off the govt. try adding all the public workers that aren’t pulling their own weight like they use to.

  4. Keith
    September 19, 2012 at 6:59 am

    I have a picture of Oneida Street and West 1st Street last Friday night about 7:30PM if you would like it. 15 minutes inconvenience is crazy and a lot more than that. Traffic was lined up on Oneida Street Bridge heading East and backed up West 1st Street as far as you could see with cars blocking the intersection every time the light changed!

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