By NICOLE GUGINO
OBSERVER Assistant News Editor
IRVING - Construction season has begun and with it, work on the Route 5/20 bridge has also commenced.
Photo by Al Leidke
Construction has begun on the Route 5/20 bridge project. Work on the new bridge’s foundation has started (lower side of photo) and a staging area has been prepared (top of photo).
New York State Department of Transportation Public Information Officer Susan Surdej said the bid for the $14.7 million project was awarded and work has begun.
"We are now in year one of a three year construction period. The project was awarded on April 26 to Union Concrete and Construction Corporation," she said. "Work began on May 6. What they are doing is replacing the bridge and doing other drainage improvements and constructing a roundabout at Routes 5, 20 and 438."
Trees have been cleared by the bridge and construction equipment can be seen working near the intersection of routes 5, 20 and 438.
"Currently, they are relocating the waterlines through the intersection and putting in temporary pavement for traffic while they construct the roundabout. Temporary traffic lights have also been put in at Route 5 and Mile Strip and Route 20 and Mile Strip to help control traffic flow when they are constructing the roundabout," Surdej explained. She said construction crews have also begun work on the foundation of the new bridge, which will run along the Seneca Hawk side of the old bridge.
"Traffic will remain on the existing bridge while the new bridge is built and then traffic will be moved to the new bridge next summer while the old bridge is demolished," Surdej added. "Construction completion for the new bridge is expected for June 2015, so work will continue this construction season, next season and into 2015."
Surdej said the roundabout is expected to be completed before the bridge in the 2014 construction season.
The bridge was built in 1931 and is the only bridge in New York state on a flood watch. It is also the only bridge besides the Thruway to cross Cattaraugus Creek between Chautauqua and Erie counties. In 2007, the bridge received a condition rating of 3.875 on a scale of 1-9 where 9 is the best.
More information on the project can be found at www.nysdot.gov, clicking the projects link at the top and entering PIN 5034.98.
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