DOT in talks on land for Fonda bridge project

Representatives from the state Department of Transportation are meeting with people who own property

Representatives from the state Department of Transportation are meeting with people who own property near the state Route 30A bridge this week to establish communication prior to the bridge reconstruction project slated for 2010.

The DOT held a preliminary meeting for the general public this time last year to outline plans to replace the bridge that spans the CSX railroad tracks and leads to state Route 5 in the village.

The 59-year-old bridge requires annual inspections due to its condition and needs to be replaced, DOT officials have said.

DOT spokeswoman Alice Romanych on Wednesday said plans have progressed from conceptual designs outlined last year, but the department is not yet revealing on which side of the current bridge the replacement will be located.

“I don’t think the decision’s been finalized,” Romanych said.

The DOT last year indicated the state may need to buy land in order to build a new bridge.

That could impact the Fonda Fairgrounds if the proposed bridge, which will accommodate a turning lane, is built to the east of its current location.

If engineers decide the bridge will require more land on the west, it could have a major impact on several businesses, Fonda Mayor Kim Flander said.

Property just west of the bridge includes a gas station, a cafe, offices for the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce and a bus depot for Brown Transportation.

“Everybody is really concerned because they don’t know what’s happening,” Flander said.

If the DOT decides to buy property to the west, Flander said it would be impossible for those businesses to relocate within the village.

“We do not have property for those people to rebuild someplace else. By losing those businesses, we would lose that revenue,” Flander said.

Property owners to the east have indicated they could work around the DOT’s plans if the state requires some of that land, Flander said.

“I hope they really lean toward taking the east side property,” Flander said.

The DOT last year estimated about 11,000 vehicles cross the bridge daily, with about 13 percent of that traffic consisting of large trucks.

Flander said a new water bottling plant in the planning stages for Fulton County will make the current traffic situation even worse.

Property owners were invited to a meeting slated for 6:30 p.m. today at the Montgomery County Annex Building on Park Street in Fonda.

Romanych said a public hearing for the general public is expected but not yet scheduled.

Categories: Schenectady County

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