Residents Want New Russell Bridge To Have Sidewalks For Safety

Residents Want New Russell Bridge To Have Sidewalks For Safety

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A bridge on County Route 24 in Russell is scheduled to be replaced next year and many area residents want one that's safe for pedestrians.

Replacing the bridge comes none too soon, but many local residents say the new bridge will lack one important feature:  a sidewalk with a curb like the one the 88-year-old bridge has now.

“Most of the kids walk on it, but some will ride their bikes," former Russell town supervisor Richard Knox said. "They'll go down to the ball field, which is just upriver from us here, and this is the only way they got to get over to that ball field.”

A petition is circulating in support of the sidewalk. The town council has passed a resolution backing it. 

Town officials say they would like to see a new bridge similar to one in Edwards, but the design calls for two five-foot shoulders like one on Miner Street in Canton.

"A shoulder, there's nothing," current town supervisor Robert Best said. "All there is is just paint on the ground and that isn't going to stop anybody.”

County highway department director Richard Chambers says the shoulders are easier to plow in winter, increasing safety. 

Town officials and the many residents signing petitions don't agree.

People in Russell want to be plain about one thing: they're happy to be getting a new bridge, but they want to make sure it's done right.

They say that means making sure it's safe for pedestrians.

Town officials plan to turn their petitions in to the county Legislature in December. 

They hope it can make a difference and the design can be changed before construction starts next year.

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