Main Street Bridge will soon get series of repairs


Lots of cars and pedestrians cross the Main Street Bridge, but Elmira’s Department of Public Works said it’s in need of repairs.

“Elements, particularly salt and other things just whether our bridges over time,” Craig Southard, the senior engineer for the City of Elmira Department of Public Works, said. “All of the bridges have had minor rehabs over the years, but they’re all in the 30-40 year lifespan.”

Southard said now is the time for major rehabilitation. Work will be split into two separate phases.

“These bridges are very expensive to replace. We’d be looking in the neighborhood of $15-$20 million to replace a majority as a full replacement.,” Southard said. “So spending the money now to get these rehabbed is a significant savings down the road.”

He added this first phase will cost between one to $4 million and add, at most, 20 extra years to the bridge’s lifespan.

Work is expected to begin next Spring, but could start as early as this fall.

“The next phase, when we go to look at replacing the deck and doing other elements,” He said. “That’ll have a bit more of an effect, but this should be pretty painless.”

The second phase is still being planned with the city applying for state funding. Phase two is expected to affect vehicle and pedestrian traffic, but detours have already been planned.

“Primary detour for this will be Clemens Center Bridge, which the DOT finished a major rehab on this past season,” Southard said. “The Clemens Center Parkway Bridge doesn’t have any pedestrian accommodations on it or sidewalk, so the alternatives are Lake Street or going all the way down to Madison Ave.”

A detailed presentation on the bridge work will be held at 11 tomorrow morning, at the Steele Memorial Library. The presentation is open to the public and residents can share their concerns.

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