Want to see something shocking?Â Look at these photos of the underside of the Broadway bridge in Fulton:
Those pictures alarmed many of the people in attendance Tuesday night as the State Department of Transportation explained its plans to renovate the bridge over a two year period, starting in 2012.
“Seeing the pictures you just showed is more than frightening,” one resident told the state engineers. “I can’t believe you even showed them.”
The photos easily established the need to give the bridge its first full-scale fixup since 1969.
“The bridge superstructure is deteriorating,” said state engineer Fred Testa, though he added that the bridge is safe and will remain safe during the construction project.Â “The bridge is inspected regularly,” he said.
He and other engineers laid out the plan for renovating the bridge:
- All four lanes of the bridge will be open in the winter;
- During the 2012 construction season, the two lanes on the south side of the bridge will be closed and renovated. The remaining two lanes will be open;
- In 2013, the two lanes on the north side will be closed and renovated, with traffic flowing on the rebuilt south side lanes;
- Some left turns will be banned on either side of the bridge during construction (see maps at bottom);
- Sidewalks will be removed when the project begins.Â Pedestrians will be able to cross the bridge using what engineers described as a “wooden structure hanging off the bridge”;
- The new pedestrian bridge will be closed in the winter for safety reasons.Â The state will operate a shuttle bus service to get pedestrians across the bridge.
State engineer John Sexton said that the entire renovation could be completed in one construction season if all four lanes of the bridge were closed.Â However, he said they found that it would create backups at the Oneida St. bridge of as much as 45 minutes.
One resident asked engineers to use railings for the bridge that allow people to enjoy the sight of the river.Â He said the combination of railings and chain-link fence on the city-owned Oneida St. bridge allowed for an excellent view, while the current barriers on the Broadway bridge looked “like the inside of a battleship.”
Sexton explained that the state used a design called a Texas concrete barrier on the rebuilt Route 104 bridge in Oswego, and that any other type of bridge would have to have at least four horizontal rails.Â He said engineers were open to any suggestions.
NEW TRAFFIC PATTERNS: