City Bridge To Close To Vehicle, Foot Traffic

The South Main Street Bridge will be closed to vehicle and pedestrian traffic when the rehabilitation project starts up again this spring. Traffic was limited last July to one lane when county officials started the project. P-J photo by Dennis Phillips

If you’ve been complaining about the one lane of vehicle traffic on the South Main Street bridge then you’re really going to be unhappy when the bridge is shut down completely.

On Monday, Sam Teresi, Jamestown mayor, said when the bridge rehabilitation project is restarted by the county in a couple months, the highway will be closed to both vehicle and pedestrian traffic. He said the project is being called a rehabilitation project, but, in the mayor’s opinion, it is basically like building a brand new bridge. He added that county officials are hoping to have the project completed by the time construction season ends in the fall.

During the February Chautauqua County Legislature Public Facilities Committee meeting, it was announced there would be an increase in the estimated cost for the South Main Street Bridge project. The County Legislature originally approved the project for $4,010,000, but now estimates are running upwards of $4,243,988. The federal government is funding 80 percent of the project. County officials anticipate state officials will reimburse the county for 75 percent of the non-federally funded part of the project.

Last July, the bridge was reduced to one lane, with a traffic light installed, when the county started the reconstruction project.

During the summer of 2014, stones from the South Main Street Bridge fell into the Chadakoin River, leading to the sidewalk being closed on the west side of the bridge. In October 2014, George Spanos, Chautauqua County public facilities director, told the County Legislature’s Public Facilities Committee that during a biannual inspection of the bridge, consultants discovered water had penetrated the top of the arch under the bridge, which in turn softened the grout and stone.

Teresi said city officials will also be working between the South Main Street Bridge to Fourth Street to fix the bumps in Main Street. The bumps have formed following two water main breaks. In October 2015, a BPU 10-inch water main broke between Second and Third streets and in December of last year another main broke at the intersection of Third and Main streets.

Both water main breaks damaged the sub-base below the highway and has created a sinkhole effect to parts of the street, Teresi said. He said city Public Works Department crews will be working on the street during construction season to alleviate the bumps in the street.

Teresi also said city crews will be working on Fourth Street between Washington and Lafayette streets to do a complete overhaul of the highway. He said because of concrete shifting underneath bricks which lay below the pavement, the blacktop doesn’t hold together well and causes highway surface problems every couple years.

These projects are just a few of between 80 to 100 public works operations that will take place this construction season, the mayor said.

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