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September 25, 2018

Engineers Explain Broadway Bridge Project


Want to see something shocking?  Look at these photos of the underside of the Broadway bridge in Fulton:

An image showing rust and deterioration of the supports beneath the Broadway bridge. State DOT photo.

An image showing rust and deterioration of the supports beneath the Broadway bridge. State DOT photo.

This state DOT photo shows more rust and decay beneath the Broadway bridge.

This state DOT photo shows more rust and decay beneath the Broadway bridge.

The DOT photos showing the condition of the Broadway bridge's support structure appear to have been taken in 2006 and 2008.

The DOT photos showing the condition of the Broadway bridge's support structure appear to have been taken in 2006 and 2008.

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.  “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.  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.  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.  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.  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.  He said engineers were open to any suggestions.

NEW TRAFFIC PATTERNS:

This map shows the traffic pattern for cars that will be in place during the 2012-13 renovation. Drivers crossing the bridge heading west who want to turn left onto Route 48 South will have to go one additional block on Broadway to W 2nd St. S and turn left there, then turn left onto Beech St. and right onto Route 48.

This map shows the traffic pattern for cars that will be in place during the 2012-13 renovation. Drivers crossing the bridge heading west who want to turn left onto Route 48 South will have to go one additional block on Broadway to W 2nd St. S and turn left there, then turn left onto Beech St. and right onto Route 48.

The detour will be longer for drivers heading east on Broadway who want to turn left onto Route 48 heading north. They will be forced to cross the bridge, turn left onto Route 481, turn left onto Oneida St. and use that bridge, then turn right onto Route 48 North.

The detour will be longer for drivers heading east on Broadway who want to turn left onto Route 48 heading north. They will be forced to cross the bridge, turn left onto Route 481, turn left onto Oneida St. and use that bridge, then turn right onto Route 48 North.

The final change involves trucks only. Truck drivers who want to head south on Route 48 will not be allowed to cross the Broadway bridge to make the left turn. Instead, they will have to cross the Oneida St. bridge and turn south onto Route 48 at the end of that bridge. "There will be inconveniences," said Fulton Police Chief Orlo Green, who believes the department will offer a brief grace period to help drivers adjust to the new patterns.

The final change involves trucks only. Truck drivers who want to head south on Route 48 will not be allowed to cross the Broadway bridge to make the left turn. Instead, they will have to cross the Oneida St. bridge and turn south onto Route 48 at the end of that bridge. "There will be inconveniences," said Fulton Police Chief Orlo Green, who believes the department will offer a brief grace period to help drivers adjust to the new patterns.

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