Main St. bridge project could see 95% state, federal funding covered

With the city’s approval, design costs of the Main Street bridge reconstruction project could be covered by New York state, while construction costs could be 95% covered by state and federal funding.

SALAMANCA — The Main Street bridge reconstruction project has progressed another step with New York state, but actual work will likely not begin until 2022.

The Salamanca Common Council Wednesday entered into a contract with Urban Engineers, of Buffalo, to proceed with final design plans to repair the bridge over the Allegheny River.

Overall cost of the project is estimated at $750,000. About 80% of that would be covered by federal funding, 15% could come from state funding and the remaining 5% would fall to the city.

The state approved the cost estimate for the project and is ready to program funding for the design and inspection, pending the city’s approval, said Dan Kruez, of Urban Engineers. The design and inspection costs are roughly $200,000.

“It’s 80 percent reimbursable, possibly 95 percent reimbursable,” he said, “and if you use CHIPS money on your end you would get that back, too, so you wouldn’t be paying a penny by the end of it.”

Kruez said the state’s process with projects like this take time, and the final design might not be ready until fall with the project going out to bid over the winter and construction beginning spring 2022.

Plans to repair the Main Street bridge began in 2016, but when the casino compact dispute between the Seneca Nation and the state began in 2017, the project was paused. Since then, continuous wear of the 30-year-old bridge has caused need for additional and more extensive repairs.

Scope of the project includes repairs to the joints and bearings at the north and south ends as well as the steel girders underneath. It could also include new sidewalks and curbing, cleaning the bridge underneath and sealing it to stop water from leaking down.

IN OTHER BUSINESS, the council approved transferring the city’s webpage, salmun.com, to a web-based program to be hosted by Southern Tier West at an initial cost of $405 and $305 each year after.

Previously, the website program was only on one computer with one person managing it, explained Tracy Chamberlain, city clerk. With Southern Tier West hosting it, any city employee could get permission to log on and update the website if needed.

The annual $305 fee does not have an expiration and is not expected to increase, she said.

The council also authorized submitting an application for AARP Community Challenge Grant for $5,000 for the Salamanca Area Senior Center to obtain equipment and WiFi services for virtual meetings and communication.

Grant administrator Sandi Brundage said the seniors have had a difficult time being able to connect with others during the past year due to the coronavirus pandemic. She said the senior center does not have WiFi nor any way for its board to hold virtual online meetings.

“It would be for two different WiFi connections and three Surface Pro tablets for the seniors to use,” she added.

ALSO OF NOTE, the council:

• Accepted the low bid of MAD Property Management, of Salamanca, for mowing the Wildwood Cemetery for 2021;

• Appointed Markie Mohr, of Salamanca, as full-time provisional recreation director at the Salamanca Youth Center, contingent on passing the Civil Service exam; and

• Appointed Kimberly Zelinski, of Salamanca, as part-time recreation leader at the youth center.

(Contact managing editor Kellen Quigley at kquigleysp@gmail.com)

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