Warnerville Cutoff bridges to be replaced


By Patsy Nicosia

A $2.5 million project to replace two bridges on the Warnerville Cutoff will be explained at a meeting Tuesday in Richmondville.
Still in the design phase, the project is on the calendar for 2010, according to Tom Fagnani, Schoharie County’s Department of Public Works commissioner.
Work, though not as extensive, is also planned for Barnerville Road, Shady Tree Lane, and in 2011, at the bridge by Stewart’s.
“It’s just timing that it’s all in Cobleskill,” Mr. Fagnani said.
“It’s just a matter of age.”
Next Tuesday’s meeting, the 23rd, will run from 6-8pm at the Richmondville Volunteer Rescue Squad Building just outside the village.
Preliminary project plans will be available to look at, the proposed construction schedule will be discussed, and there will be time for questions and comments.
Both bridges on the Cutoff are about 60 years old, Mr. Fagnani said, and see a lot of traffic—especially the one closest to Route 7.
The timing is important, he said, because the State Department of Transportation plans to replace the bridge by Stewart’s in 2011.
The Cutoff will be closed for construction for six to eight months, Mr. Fagnani said, and there’s some talk of raising the road itself to help alleviate the constant flooding there.
One of the things DPW will be looking for comments on at Tuesday’s meeting is the type of bridge they’ll be replacing the existing bridges with.
Probably, he said, it will be precast concrete, but there are other, more expensive options, including truss and steel girder bridges.
Eighty percent of the project will be funded by the Federal Highway Administration, Mr. Fagnani said, and typically, 15 percent comes from the state—though with Albany’s budget problems, that piece isn’t guaranteed.
Five percent of the $2.5 million will come from the county.
“The biggest thing we’re looking for at the meeting is feedback,” Mr. Fagnani said.
In a different project tentatively funded with federal stimulus money and set to go off in August, the culvert on Barnerville Road, just above the entrance to Pizza Hut, will be replaced.
Mr. Fagnani said that work will involve an on-site detour and take about a month.
“The timing isn’t as crucial there,” he said, and plans are to tackle it after the Fair.
Finally, the long-awaited replacement of the Shady Tree Lane Bridge is on the calendar for 2010.
Mr. Fagnani said bids to replace the bridge on the popular shortcut will be going out in September and demolition will take place later this year.
The work is eligible for the 80/15/5 split, he said, but again, the state share of that is somewhat uncertain.
For more information on any of the projects but especially on Tuesday’s meeting, contact Mr. Fagnani at the DPW at 295-2330.