CITY OF TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WKBW) — Local elected leaders came together Thursday to announce a project to improve safety in the area of the Young Street bridge in the City of Tonawanda.
Congressman Brian Higgins (D, NY-26) was joined by New York State Assemblymember Bill Conrad and City of Tonawanda Mayor John White to announce the $1.2 million project.
As part of the project, a new warning system and a detour route will be implemented in an effort to stop trucks from striking the CSX rail bridge over Young Street. According to Higgins, the bridge has been struck by trucks 64 times since 2000.
An over-height vehicle detection system will be installed as part of the project that will alert drivers when a vehicle that doesn’t meet the bridge clearance is detected. A release says infrared beams will trigger a message on an electronic sign and drivers will be directed to a detour.
The design work is underway and construction is anticipated at the end of 2024. The project is 100 percent federally funded through the National Highway Freight Program.
“Time and time again this bridge is hit by high-profile trucks creating safety issues for the community and traffic headaches for travelers. Using technology, we can better protect drivers, the neighborhood, and the unobstructed flow of freight and street traffic. This project serves as a long-term solution to a persistent safety issue, as well as an investment in the City of Tonawanda.”
“Despite the City’s best efforts, this railroad bridge has been a safety issue in our community for over 20 years. Extensive signage and a ban on truck traffic have proven not to be enough to prevent these accidents, so I’m happy to see that Congressman Higgins has worked with our community to identify funding for a long-term solution. This innovative system will help us to decrease the number of accidents at this bridge, preventing the disruption of traffic and allowing our Police to focus on our neighborhoods instead of spending time directing traffic around the latest bridge strike. I’m thrilled to see Tonawanda on the list of cities that will receive this funding and thankful to Congressman Higgins for his advocacy for our community.”