CSX Says Watertown Bridge Is Safe, Others Not So Sure

CSX Says Watertown Bridge Is Safe, Others Not So Sure

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The company that owns the West Main Street rail bridge says the structure is safe even after a chunk of cement broke off, falling to the ground Tuesday night.

However, some people are concerned.

"Sometimes I wonder when I go underneath it - the trains that go over it - if it's going to collapse underneath it," said Zina Ramey, a lifelong Watertown resident.

A Jefferson County legislator shares these concerns. Anthony Doldo has been speaking with engineers and representatives from CSX, the freight company that owns the bridge. An engineer told him that the bridge was safe. But Doldo is skeptical.

"He told me that the top deck where the train goes over is in good shape and, you know, one of my first thoughts was, without a good foundation, it doesn't matter how good shape the top is in," said Doldo.

Doldo added the bridge has been in disrepair for decades and not only is it embarrassing for the community, but it's only a matter of time before someone gets hurt.

"The railroad that isn't maintaining their own stuff and eventually something is going to happen. Are they going to be proactive or are they going to be reactive? I think at this point the way it has been, they are just being reactive," said Doldo.

And now CSX is working to fix the damage after the concrete fell.

On Wednesday, cars were still driving through one side of the bridge, while the other side of the bridge has been closed to traffic.

"What fell last night is mostly cosmetic - it is cosmetic - and our focus is on the structural integrity of the bridge," said a spokesperson from CSX.

She added that the company will continue to monitor the bridge and that wear and tear on bridges is "typical."

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