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Chenango St. Viaduct Makes Comeback

Wed November 08, 2000 - Northeast Edition
Mary Gelling Merritt

It will soon be easier to travel to downtown Binghamton from Interstate 81 in Broome County, NY. The New York State Department of Transportation and the city of Binghamton are working together to fund the rehabilitation of the Chenango Street viaduct, which crosses over Conrail’s railroad tracks.

They’ve awarded the $1.6-million project to Slate Hill Construction of Warners, NY. Work began in May.

The viaduct structure is 436 ft. (140 m) in length. More than 5,000 vehicles use the viaduct on Chenango Street each day.

“This project is good news for downtown Binghamton,” said New York State Senator Thomas W. Libous. “The rehabilitation of the Chenango Street viaduct is another example of our commitment to bringing people and business back downtown.”

Jeff Hanlon of Slate Hill Construction said the project is on schedule and expected to be completed by the end of November 2000.

“The most difficult part of the project was to coordinate work with the railroad,” Hanlon said. He said Conrail was very cooperative about delaying or rescheduling trains along the system’s active lines beneath the viaduct.

The entire project includes installation of a guide rail; the replacement of a bridge rail with pedestrian fencing; and the removal of deteriorated paint and the painting of all structural steel. New traffic signals, sidewalk ramps, pavement striping and new bicycle lanes will add the finishing touches to the project.

“The project is long overdue,” said New York State Assembly Member Robert Warner. “The rehabilitation of Chenango Street viaduct will effectively move traffic and become a preferred route to visit the downtown Binghamton area from Route 81.”

Delta Engineers of Broome County created the plans and drawings for the project. Hanlon said his company has hired subcontractors to do some of the work. IBS Hydro is water blasting to remove the old paint. Collins Concrete is providing materials for the new curbs and sidewalks. The steel repair work will be done by J & J Structures of Canastota, NY. Amstar Painting will repaint the structure’s steel. Elderlee Inc will put the hand railing in place. The chain link fence is by Roger’s Fence of Colbrook, NY.

“It’s pretty straightforward,” said Hanlon. “They closed the road so we could work on the whole bridge at one time and not worry about traffic.”

Hanlon said his company is using on the job a Caterpillar 248 skid steer, a JCB rubber-tired backhoe, an Ackerman rubber-tired excavator and a personnel lift from Albany Ladder.

Hanlon’s Caterpillar 248 skid steer is brand-new and he has been pleasantly surprised with the machine’s performance.

“I won Syracuse Supply’s $5,000 promotional contest,” said Hanlon. “So I used the money to buy the machine I was already renting.”

The deck of the new Chenango Street viaduct will have a smoother riding surface due to Superpave, the latest technology in asphalt.

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