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Residents to decide fate of Twin Bridges

By LEXIE O'CONNOR

FORESTPORT, N.Y. (WKTV) - After 3 years of being closed, Forestport's Twin bridges may soon be rebuilt. Tuesday Forestport residents will decide to either keep waiting for a state grant to rebuild their Twin Bridges, or move forward with building a one lane bridge funded by taxpayers.

The vote is to bond for $650,000 to go towards a new one lane bridge on River Road over the Black River. The Forestport Town Board in June decided on the one lane plan as a less expensive option and to keep the landmark as close to how it's been for a century.

While some look forward to moving forward with restoring the historic bridges, others are against the plan.

"I'm voting "No" I'm strongly against it, I'm not against having a bridge but I'm against what they want to do and what we should do," said Town Supervisor Bill Hasenauer. "We spent $60,000 already do we throw that down the waste basket? I don't think so."

Forestport Town Supervisor Bill Hasenauer wishes the town would instead keep trying for a state grant to build a two lane bridge, what would cost an estimated $1.2 million, but be state approved unlike a one lane bridge.

Hasenauer also fears the one lane bridge wouldn't hold plows and trucks, however members of the Twin Bridges Committee say that is false.

"Both Spectra, the town's engineers and Zangrilli, the bridge committee's engineer, both stated in public, in front of 100 people and recorded in the minutes that these bridges will carry logging trucks, fire trucks, plows virtually anything that can go down route 28 can cross this bridge," said Parker Snead, Chairperson for the Forestport Twin Bridges committee.

If passed, building the bridge would raise property taxes roughly $15 per $100,000 assessed house. A cost those for building the bridge feel is worth not having to wait or invest more in a grant they don't see coming.

"I mean that's the price of what a pack of beer? I mean we're talking about an insignificant amount of money," said Snead.

Hasenauer also wonders if the bridges can be built for the bond price.

"I know and I've talked to different engineers, I've talked to our highway superintendent and there's no way we can build those two bridges for $650,000," said Hasenauer.

However, Snead said Zangrilli Engineereing who designed a plan for the Bridge Committee estimated a one lane bridge with new abutments and a sidewalk to cost under $550,000.

To replace or to wait is now something residents will decide. Polls will be open Tuesday from noon to 8 pm. at both the Forestport Town Hall and Woodgate Fire Department.

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