City waits for funds to fix bridge

JOHNSTOWN — The city is in a “holding pattern” regarding replacement of bridges and culverts, waiting for funding to start flowing for projects, City Engineer Christopher Vose said Friday.

City officials continue to size up various bridge and culvert projects in the city, but replacement of what used to be the Miller Street Bridge tops the list.

“We would like to knock out Miller Street first,” Vose said.

The old 1930s-era bridge was cited by the state Department of Transportation for deterioration and it was removed. It is now in need of replacement. The city has been planning an in-house project using the city Department of Public Works to replace the missing span with a prefabricated bridge.

Vose said this week the city is still waiting on “final contract” funding from the state Dormitory Authority. After that, he said the “plan of attack” is to get the Miller Street Bridge replaced. 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.

The city is also seeking state Consolidated Funding Application funding that may go toward smaller projects.

Vose said that after the Miller Street project, his office will be reviewing culvert projects in key spots in the city. He said four culverts are 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.

One a larger scale, the city wants to eventually replace the 1928-era Townsend Avenue Bridge, and take on the West State Street Bridge.

The city was previously awarded $550,000 by the state Department of Transportation toward replacement of the West State Street Bridge, but Vose has already said that work won’t start this construction season. He said DOT wants a more detailed analysis done of the superstructure of that bridge.

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

By Patricia Older

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