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The Times
  • Abandoned railroad bridge to be demolished

  • An abandoned railroad bridge and center pier spanning the West Canada Creek will be demolished in the next few days, according to a state Department of Environmental Conservation official.

    Patrick Clearey, DEC Region 6 deputy regional permit administrator, said Friday the bridge needs to be removed because it could be hazardous to someone utilizing the creek.

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  • An abandoned railroad bridge and center pier spanning the West Canada Creek will be demolished in the next few days, according to a state Department of Environmental Conservation official.
    Patrick Clearey, DEC Region 6 deputy regional permit administrator, said Friday the bridge needs to be removed because it could be hazardous to someone utilizing the creek.
    “It’s a damaged structure. It’s failing,” he said during a telephone interview on Friday. “If it fell into the river during a flood event, it could form a dam ... It’s also a navigation hazard for tubers and kayakers.” Clearey also said, “The DEC wanted it out of there as soon as possible.”
    The bridge is located immediately southeast of the West Canada Valley Central School building, right off of the athletic fields on Fishing Rock Road, according to Clearey. He noted the bridge cannot be seen from Route 28. He described the bridge as a double-arched, super steel structure.
    Clearey said one of the two main girders that span the river is cracked in half, making it dangerous for workers to take the structure apart. “It’s just not safe to work on from above,” he said. “Typically, if it was a sound structure, they would pick away at it piece by piece.”
    Clearey said what workers will do instead is knock the bridge down into the creek where they will then cut the pieces into smaller ones.
    The school district, the owner of the bridge, announced Thursday EMI Guiderail will do the demolition. Signs and buoys were put into place on Friday to warn canoers, kayakers, tubers and others using the creek about the demolition.
    “Demolition will pose a safety hazards to recreation in that vicinity,” said West Canada Valley Superintendent of Schools John Banek in a news release.
    Banek was unavailable for comment on Friday.
    Clearey said he did not know the age of the bridge.

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