Newark Village Mayor Jonathan Taylor announced confirmation in obtaining two major grant awards.
Taylor mentioned the grants at the last village board meeting.
The first of these grants is from the state Department of Transportation’s 2016 BRIDGE NY program. The village received $550,000 to reconstruct a failing culvert on Route 31 West in the village. The funding comes in conjunction with a scheduled project by the state to rehabilitate the road in the heart of the village, a press release stated. Over 30,000 vehicles pass over this structure daily. The culvert project will ultimately increase the safety and stability for motorists.
The second grant is an additional $404,000 provided to assist in rehabilitating the East Avenue bridge over the Erie Canal. This artery provides a necessary connection to two majors employers not only in Newark, but in Wayne County as well. With the completion of this project, all load limitations will be removed.
The 104-year-old bridge has a long history of problems due to its age that have forced state inspectors to flag and even close it. In 1997, the bridge was flagged and eventually closed due to deterioration. After much discussion it was decided to accept an offer from the state for funds to repair the bridge, on the condition that the village would take ownership of it. Under this agreement, the bridge was completely rehabbed.
Built in 1913, around the time the bridge turned 100, an annual inspection by the state revealed rusted out girders and the bridge was flagged again. The village board floated a bond to repair the bridge again and after determining road salt was the likely culprit to the deterioration, an asphalt surface was put down.
Last summer the bridge was flagged again due to serious deterioration caused by rust. That was when the village pursued the grant funding to once again repair the bridge.
“Whenever possible, the village board is fully committed to maintaining and upgrading infrastructure in Newark to continue to make it a place to live, work and grow,” Taylor said.
Both of these projects are not expected to begin until some time in 2018, Taylor said.
Tammy Whitacre is a reporter for Fingerlakes1.com covering Wayne County and the surrounding areas. You may email Tammy at [email protected].