Johnstown readies to fix rotted Miller Street bridge

The Miller Street bridge area in Johnstown, where a new replacement bridge is due this year, is seen Tuesday. (The Leader-Herald/Michael Anich)

JOHNSTOWN — City officials are sizing up various bridge and culvert projects in the city, but first on the list in 2017 is replacement of the Miller Street bridge.

“My top priority is Miller Street,” City Engineer Christopher Vose said Tuesday.

The 1930s-era Miller Street bridge over the Cayadutta Creek is currently closed. It has been cited by the state Department of Transportation, and is one of the most deteriorating of the roughly dozen bridge-culvert structures in the city. The city has been planning an inhouse project using the city Department of Public Works to replace the span with a prefabricated bridge.

The Miller Street bridge is rotting, and the city has looked at various options, but replacement is preferred. Part of the problem with the bridge is differing elevations along the creek.

Vose said that “ideally,” the bridge work will get done in 2017 and the span will be reopened thereafter for city traffic.

He said the project may be funded by the Dormitory Authority of the state of New York. The authority administers capital grant programs on behalf of New York state that support community and economic development. Grant money available for the project is $100,000.

“We just sent in the final batch of [grant] paperwork,” Vose said.

Former state Sen. Hugh T. Farley and state Assemblyman Marc W. Butler, R-Newport, in October 2015 secured a capital grant. The city already bid for design work for the Miller Street bridge project. The lowest bid opened in June 2016 was $55,565 submitted by Contech Engineered Solutions of West Chester , Ohio.

Vose says other possible city bridge and culvert work will likely occur after 2017.

Other problems with bridges in the city include the Townsend Avenue bridge.

As part of the state Department of Transportation Region 2 Bridge New York Program, the city was awarded $550,000 toward replacement of the West State Street bridge. The bridge is located near Mohan’s Stop & Shop, 41 W. State St.

“The West State Street deck won’t be this construction season,” Vose said.

He said more analysis of the bridge needs to be done. Vose said DOT wants more scrutinizing of the superstructure of the West State Street bridge.

Vose said four culverts are also eyed for work down the road, including on North and South Chase streets. A culvert under Washington Street and Pleasant Avenue is also being looked at, he said. Vose said there is also another culvert on East Main Street, near the Johnstown Senior Citizens Center, that needs work.

“We have funding, but we’re not sure if we’re going to get to any of those this year,” Vose said.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at [email protected]

By Patricia Older

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