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Residents express concerns over Arterial's proposed pedestrian bridge

By LEXIE O'CONNOR

WEST UTICA, N.Y. (WKTV) - The Arterial project took center stage at a West Utica meeting Wednesday night, with most of the discussion focused on the pedestrian bridge in the works. State Department of Transportation Representatives Sharon Bryant-Heyboer and Anthony Ilacqua coming to the meeting to not only discuss plans for the proposed pedestrian bridge over the Route 12 Arterial but to also hear the opinions and concerns of the residents likely to use it.

The proposed bridge will be a truss bridge spanning over the Arterial where Sunset Ave. crosses Lincoln Ave in the Holy Trinity Campus on the east side and then to where Sunset Avenue and Fay Street cross on the west side.

The New York State DOT Representatives presented the plans for a 14 ft wide bridge, with a clearance of 16 - 17.5 ft over the arterial, fencing and a fairly gradual grade.

While attendants were eager to hear and see the details on the plans, one of their big concerns was how Utica is going to take care of another bridge.

"The city is prepared to address the need to clear snow, there's several ways to do that," says Anthony Ilacqua of the New York State Department of Transportation. "We discussed it with the Department of Public Works and without hesitation they had no problem to committing to maintain any of the facilities that we build just as they do with streets and city sidewalks that are their responsibilities."

Another big concern for residents was security. However, the State DOT Representatives explained that crime prevention will be a focus of their design and that they will be implementing security cameras, emergency blue light telephones as well as lots of lighting on the bridge to what they say not only make it safer to cross the Arterial but also bring light and life to the area.

Ilacqua says the pedestrian bridge is in the first approximately $10 million contract of the Arterial project and that residents could see bridge construction begin next summer.

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