Thursday, November 08, 2007

Washington Street Bridge Reconstruction

(Picture Courtesy of the Post-Journal)

Think about the Washington Street Bridge in Jamestown. Can you see it in your mind? It's that aging structure that connects the downtown area to the south side of town. Not the prettiest looking thing, but it's one of the few ways tractor-trailers can get to that side of town.

The good news is that the New York State Department of Transportation is going to replace the bridge.

The bad news is that after reading the proposed plan and getting some additional information about the proposed design of the bridge, the end result is that it's not pretty. The state apparently went with the cheapest design and not with what aesthetically would fit the area.

Think about where the columns are on the bridge now and imagine that as a solid wall from the top of the bridge to the ground. This wall would be about 3 stories high in spots and have openings for Harrison Street, the Chadakoin River, the rail road, and a set-back for the River Walk that's being developed on the north and south sides of the river.

If you're looking east or west, you'd no longer be able to see much of what lay on either side. Talk about visually ruining an area that the city is trying to make a destination where the river is concerned.

But the good news there is that the State is holding a public hearing this afternoon to get public input on the design. I know this news is a little too late for most of you to re-arrange your afternoon, but written comment can be submitted until November 20th.

I will be at this hearing this afternoon. Hope to see some of you there (details on hearing below).

The New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) will host a public hearing to discuss the proposed replacement of the NY Route 60, Washington Street Bridge over the Western New York and Pennsylvania Railroads, Chadakoin River and West Harrison Street in the City of Jamestown, Chautauqua County.

The public hearing will be held on Thursday, November 8, 2007, from 4 to 7:30 p.m. in the court room of the Jamestown Municipal Building, located at 200 East Third Street in the City of Jamestown In Chautauqua County. The hearing will be conducted in an open forum format, whereby individuals can arrive at any time between 4 and 6:30 p.m. to discuss various elements of the design with representatives from the Department of Transportation. A brief formal presentation will be held at 6:30 p.m. to discuss the property acquisition procedures, followed by an open discussion.

The project, which begins at the intersection of Washington Street and West Second Street and proceeds southerly to the intersection of Washington Street and South Main Street, proposes to completely remove and replace the existing bridge with a new structure. Washington Street, from the south end of the bridge to its intersection with South Main Street, will be reconstructed. Written and oral comments pertaining to the project will be accepted as part of the official record. Written statements received on or before November 20, 2007, will also be placed in the record.

A Design Report, which evaluates the project's effect on the quality of the human environment for the proposed project will be available for review by all Interested parties. This report is also available for review at the Chautauqua-Cattaraugus Library, 106 West Fifth Street in the City of Jamestown, the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library, Central Office, 1 Lafayette Square, in the City of Buffalo and the Mayor's office at the Jamestown Municipal Building, 200 East Third Street in the City of Jamestown.


Kevin_H said...

Shades of the 'Twin Span' fiasco in Buffalo. Jsut wait till all the little fanatics and weirdos come out of the woodwork screaming and climbing on top of their soap boxes about this...

Galoot said...

I'd like to see a rendering of this. If the wall part had a nice look that complemented the area, I might be down with it. It would block views from Harrison/Steele Street and also views from the potential housing that I've seen plans for before. If it will be an eyesore like City Hall, Washington and Jefferson Schools, not so much.

Julia said...

Galoot - I didn't think to take a pic with my phone yesterday and apparently the story isn't in the P-J yet.

We found out there are 2 alternatives. #1 keeps the same kind of column supports that you see now and #2 is the wall concept. Even the DOT people we talked to didn't like Alternative #2, and it seemed like it was put out there because it was the cheapest option the state had (about $750k less than Alternative #1).

When I can get my hands on a rendering, I'll have to remember to post it.

Raymond/jamestown,ny said...

if Alt 2 with the wall is erected it will become a GRAFFITTI TRAP!!!! Brooklyn SQ. will look like Brooklyn,NY. What a way to greet new comers to the city.

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