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Bridge in Akron faces closing

The deteriorated State Street Bridge in Akron, which has posed a problem for the past few years, may soon be closed for repairs or total reconstruction.

That was the outlook offered by Public Works Superintendent Robert Kowalik at Monday's Village Board meeting.

Mayor Carl Patterson, noting that the village did some repairs last year to the span, said, "It will stay open only if it's safe."

He said the state Department of Transportation has "flagged it for closing."

Kowalik said the bridge is only "rated for three tons," meaning it can't handle buses or large trucks.

The village has applied for a state grant that Kowalik said could cover as much as 95 percent of the costs to fix the bridge. He attributed its problems to its age and weather conditions that have weakened girders.

He declined to estimate the costs of repairs or reconstruction, saying he is still working on that data.

In other business, the board held a public hearing on this year's application for a share of the county's Community Development Block grants, which drew no speakers.

Patterson said the village is considering using CDBG money for the reconstruction and installation of a new water line on Marshall Street; installation of sidewalks near the park on Skyline Drive and from the Town Hall on Clarence Center Road to Buell Street; and funding the Rural Transit van service.

Further discussions will be held and action is expected at the Oct. 20 board meeting.

Later in the evening, at a joint work session with the Village Board, the Town Board indicated agreement with the sidewalks and van service, but Supervisor David Cummings said the town's main priority is the installation of handicapped accessible doors at the Senior Center on Cummings Road and at Town Hall. No formal action was taken.

Absent from Monday's meetings was Village Trustee Michael Middaugh, whose wife, Tara, delivered their third child earlier that day.

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