Albion village sets meetings for Sept. 7, 14 to discuss upcoming bridge closure

Photo by Tom Rivers: Albion Village Board members were addressed by Karen Sawicz and Michael Bonafede about the upcoming Main Street bridge closure. The board members include from left Chris Barry, Deputy Mayor Joyce Riley, Zack Burgess and Tim McMurray.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 25 August 2022 at 10:41 am

ALBION – The Albion Village Board has scheduled two community forums next month for residents, merchants and building owners to share concerns about the upcoming bridge closure on Main Street. The board also wants to hear ideas for utilizing space in the downtown while the bridge is closed for about 18 months.

The forums will start at 5:30 p.m. on Sept. 7 and 6 p.m. on Sept. 14 at the Village Hall. The board is looking to form a committee to connect with the village and state Department of Transportation, and also to help coordinate projects on Main Street.

The Main Street lift bridge will close to traffic on Oct. 17 and not reopen until the spring of 2024. The bridge from 1914 will get an extensive rehabilitation.

It is part of a $28.3 million project that includes the Main Street lift bridge in Brockport. The bridge in Brockport is expected to close in April 2023 and reopen in the spring 2024.

Crane-Hogan Structural Systems in Spencerport ins the general contractor on the two bridges. Crane-Hogan did the rehab work on seven canal bridges in Orleans County from 2018 to 2021. That was a $10.8 million project for the work on the single-lane truss bridges.

Karen Sawicz, owner of Lake Country Media, and Michael Bonafede, owner of three buildings in the downtown, addressed the Village Board on Wednesday and urged the group to advocate for better sign postings in the village and nearby state roads to help drivers move around in the Albion area.

Bonafede said the board has more clout than residents in advocating for the community, to try to minimize the negative impacts of having the bridge closed for so long.

“This is going to be two years,” Bonafede said. “It could make or break us.”

Bonafede said the bridge overhaul is needed, and he said the community should appreciate the investment from the state. But the Village Board needs to be active in the process to mitigate the impact as much as possible.

“It’s going to be very disruptive to the downtown,” Bonafede said. “It is really going to change life down there for two years.”

Bonafede suggested the village encourage the contractors and DOT staff to try to avoid using public parking spaces in the downtown and to barricade off parts of the street as little as possible when there is construction.

Sawicz said traffic will shift to the Ingersoll Street lift bridge. She suggested the village put in a temporary stop sign at Ingersoll and State Street when the Main Street bridge is closed.