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Schumer calls on CSX to remove three railroad overpasses

Posted at: 11/20/2012 6:53 AM
Updated at: 11/20/2012 5:47 PM
By: Amanda Ciavarri

A local town says they need help with a dangerous situation and now they're teaming up with a local senator.

The bridges are owned by the railroad company, CSX, and haven't been used since 1982. Since then the bridges have deteriorated and village and town leaders say they are danger to people who live and drive through Spencerport and Ogden.

On Tuesday, Senator Chuck Schumer came to town to say he will push to get CSX to take down the bridges.

Senator Chuck Schumer said, “Threaten the safety of motorist and residents. The increase unnecessary traffic delays in the business district and remain dangerous eye sores in the town of Ogden and village of Spencerport."

Some people say they are an eye sore, others say they are causing accidents and traffic back ups. The are three bridges in Ogden. One on Union Street, the second is on Manitou Road and the third is on Washington Street. None of them have been used in decades and now the pressure is on for CSX to take them down.

Ogden Town Supervisor Gay Lenhard says all three CSX bridges in her town are not safe. All three have different problems.

There's the bridge over Washington Street.

David Haines, Spencerport Chamber of Commerce President, said, “It's hard for two cars to actually get under neath that and there is a street that comes in just to the north and you cannot see those cars.”

And the one over Manitou Road.

Lenhard said, “There is a gully there and you go down before you get to the other side. When we have flooding and things that go on and we do in that area, if a car doesn't know that it is deep. It is probably four or five feet deep they get stuck in there.”

And finally, the one over Union Street leading into the business district.

Haines said, “No tractor trailer traffic can come in. Two years ago, Tops opened and all of their trucks have to go all the way around and come in from the north side of the village . So it simply takes them longer to get here any other delivery truck they have to be rerouted and as you know GPS doesn't tell them that there is a bridge that they can't get under. So they get close and they have to back up, its a traffic jam.”

The bridges have been abandoned for years and there aren't even tracks left up there. When it comes to deterioration, if you look down at the bridge, you can actually see right through to the street.”

Town and village leaders stood side-by-side with Senator Chuck Schumer Tuesday afternoon to call for CSX to take down the bridges. It was something the company agreed to start last March, but after the contractor pulled out, it never happened.

But now Senator Schumer promises to put pressure on the company until they make this a priority.

There's a website that rates the safety of all bridges in New York State. Livingston County, for example has the most bridges in the very dangerous category in our area. If you are concerned about a bridge in your community, click here.

Ogden Police Chief says for them the main issue is trucks getting stuck under the bridges and it has happened as recently as a few months ago where a truck was stuck under the Union Street Bridge for five hours.