ORISKANY — With $1.4 million in grant monies from the BRIDGE NY Program, the Utica Street Bridge is about to receive a face-lift.
Owned by the Town of Whitestown, the bridge has been “yellow-flagged” by the state Department of Transportation for about five years due to deficiencies that range from beam and steel bearings to paint issues.
Whitestown Supervisor Shaun J. Kaleta said although it’s structurally sound, a yellow flag means there are deficiencies that need attention.
He said the DOT’s “yellow-flag” status led to the town’s submission of an application for funding in 2017. The rehab project will replace the existing bridge deck and make other repairs. Work also includes a new water line underneath the bridge.
“The rehab project will extend the life of the bridge by at least 30 years, and once complete, the ‘yellow-flag’ status will be removed,” the supervisor said.
The town owns and is responsible for maintaining all non-county and non-state bridges, including non-county and non-state bridges in the town’s four villages. Whitestown signed an Intermunicipal Agreement with Oneida County, and the county Department of Public Works is overseeing the project on behalf of the town.
“This has been a great partnership – the county has more staff and resources to oversee a project of this magnitude,” Kaleta said.
Preliminary work is underway and the “anticipated installation” of a temporary pedestrian bridge at the location will be between now and May 22, Kaleta said.
“The Town of Whitestown is extremely excited to have secured $1.4 million in grant funding to significantly rehabilitate the Utica Street Bridge,” he said. “The project will ensure that structural deficiencies are corrected and that the bridge linking one end of the Village of Oriskany to the other, will remain open for the next several decades.”
The Utica Street Bridge will be closed from June 21 through October as repairs are made.
The bridge will be closed to traffic for the replacement of the bridge deck and other work during that time frame.
“We tried to make sure the bridge was closed over the summer when school is not in session,” the supervisor said.
During the closure, there will be a detour for traffic with signage directing motorists. The detour is expected to divert traffic to Route 69.
“Maintaining infrastructure is critically important, but often difficult to keep up with due to cost,” Kaleta said. “The town’s proactive efforts to secure grant funding greatly reduces the financial burden that would have otherwise been placed on taxpayers.”
Area residents with any questions about the bridge work or closure should contact the Town Hall at 315-736-1131.