First Steps Taken To Deal With Brownville BridgePosted: Updated:
Brownville's mayor was going door-to-door Thursday, but it wasn't to garner votes. Mayor Pat Connor hit the streets with two employees from Highland Planning to discuss new locations for the Brownville bridge.
The visibly rusting bridge was built over the Black River and it's directly next to Neenah Northeast, a paper mill company.
"The issues for the bridge are the location and that it hasn't been repaired in many, many years," said Connor.
This is the first phase of a study of the bridge. It's being done by the Watertown Jefferson County Area Transportation Council. Officials say the bridge is safe for now. But they have decisions to make, whether to repair the existing bridge or put up a new one.
"There have been a number of structural and traffic and access related issues that have been identified. The New York State Department of Transportation has been aware for a little while that this is a project that is going to need to be taken care of," said Christopher Dunne, senior planner of Highland Planning.
According to the mayor, the bridge is rusting from the inside out and it's out of his hands what happens to it because the state oversees the bridge. However, he was told that if the bridge is condemned, it cannot be relocated, it must be replaced.
"What they are looking for is to relocate the bridge to make it more user friendly especially with the mill and the people trying to deliver there, they have to back across the major highway and it does impede traffic," said Connor.
Planning officials are considering three to five new locations for the Brownville bridge, most of which will be between the mill and General Brown Elementary School.
A stakeholder workshop will be held to discuss the state of the Brownville bridge on Wednesday, January 31 from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Brownville American Legion on Washington Street.