County begins Fleischmanns bridge repair

By Jay Braman Jr.
Uncertainty over the fate of the Bridge Street bridge in Fleischmanns remains, yet another bridge project in the village is underway just downstream.

Depot Street, the well-used entranceway on the western edge of the village that connects Route 28 to Main Street, remains closed just past the Wagner Avenue intersection as the Delaware County Department of Public Works make repairs to the bridge that sits right on the corner of Depot and Main streets.

While no one is complaining about the project, some, like village resident David Yates, are concerned that the funding for the job might be coming from the money allocated for the controversial Bridge Street repair.

“I don’t understand why the county decided to undertake the repair of the Depot Street bridge when the Bridge Street bridge issue hasn’t been resolved,” said Yates Tuesday. “I also question which budget is covering the cost of the work on Depot Street.”
Yates also feels that Fleischmanns, now with Depot Street out of commission, really dodged a bullet last week.

“With the Bridge Street bridge removed by the county and no longer functioning, and the Depot Street bridge under construction, the residents of the Village of Fleischmanns were left in a very vulnerable situation,” Yates said. “This underscores the importance of having all the bridges in Fleischmanns open and operating to vehicular traffic. Fewer crossings put our village in peril. Removal of even one of the bridge crossings in Fleischmanns creates serious safety issues.”
The Bridge Street span was badly damaged in August of 2011 during Tropical Storm Irene and later removed by the county. Even though FEMA has given funds to replace the bridge, the county has decided to take those funds and use them elsewhere.

Delaware County Commissioner of Public Works Wayne Reynolds was not available for comment Tuesday.

The county has so far ignored public outcry on the Bridge Street matter, having been presented last month with a petition carrying over 1,000 signatures that demands the bridge be replaced.
Last month Reynolds said that no decision has yet been made. While there is a strong chance that the county will indeed decide to not replace the Bridge Street bridge, the public works department is still accumulating information on the subject.