State DOT Holds Public Meeting on Old Route 219 Bridge

February 8, 2012 Updated Feb 8, 2012 at 12:20 AM EDT

By Allen Leight

February 8, 2012 Updated Feb 8, 2012 at 12:20 AM EDT

SPRINGVILLE, NY (WKBW) - Officials from the New York State Department of Transportation held a pubic meeting Tuesday night to take questions from residents and business owners and to update attendees on the progress of the close bridge over Cattaraugus Creek.

The old Rt. 219 bridge was closed on January 5th after inspectors deemed it structurally unsafe.

Since then, businesses in the Springville business district have seen a severe drop in customer traffic.

"It almost dropped our business over 25 to 30 percent almost overnight, and it's stayed that way ever since," said business owner and Cattaraugus County legislator William Sprague.

DOT officials have enacted an emergency fund to expedite work on the bridge to bring relief to maligned community. They plan to raise the bridge and remove the faulty bearings that carry the structures weight. They will put in a temporary fix and open the bridge to traffic while the new bearings are constructed.

Other maintenance work on the bridge including painting, along with the new bearing installation will take place throughout the summer into the winter. That work may at times restrict the bridge to one lane.

In the meantime, DOT officials say they will put up signs to help direct traffic to the business district.

One sign will say "Springville Business District" and will erected on the north and south side of the Route 39 exit.

Contractors could be on site to begin preparation for the bridge lift within the next week or two. Some of the signs could also be up in a week, however the 'Springville Business District' marker will take at least a month to be installed.