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Bridge rebuilding delay due to state funding

Rebuilding the Tuscarora Road bridge will have to wait until the state appropriates the bulk of the funding for the project, the Niagara Town Board learned last week.

Supervisor Steven C. Richards, who updated the board on the project's status during a Town Hall work session, said the town already has paid $500,000 for the design phase of the project. He said the work wasn't targeted until 2006 or 2007.

Highway Superintendent Michael J. Moyer said $800,000 in state funding was in place for the project, but the cost to repair the bridge skyrocketed to $2.5 million after state Department of Transportation representatives discovered more structural problems.

"The state won't guarantee that they will put it in next year's budget," said Moyer, adding that he was unsuccessful in getting the state to pinpoint a funding year.

Moyer said even though he showed a DOT representative problems with the span's joints and pillars, the DOT decided to spend $10,000 to $20,00 to make temporary repairs. He said this temporary solution is like "putting a Band-Aid on the Grand Canyon."

He also said at some point the bridge may have to be closed because of safety concerns.

The Town Board will next meet in a work session at 7 p.m. Thursday in Town Hall, 7105 Lockport Road.

e-mail: pkowalik@buffnews.com

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