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Deterioration of Silver Creek railroad bridges stirs discussions

SILVER CREEK – The condition of the railroad bridges in Silver Creek was called “shocking” by Trustee Thomas R. Harmon, who said he photographed what he believes are structural flaws in them. He announced his findings Monday at the regular meeting held in the Municipal Building.

The village has eight railroad overpass bridges, including one built in 1869 and called the Skew Arch Bridge. They carry dozens of freight and passenger trains daily.

Harmon and Mayor Nick Piccolo will participate in a conference call about the bridges with a staff member from the office of Rep. Tom Reed, R-Corning.

Piccolo said he is drafting letters to other officials asking them to urge railroad officials from CSX and Norfolk Southern to inspect the bridges and make repairs.

In other business from the meeting, a new superintendent of wastewater- and water-treatment operations was appointed. David Voight will succeed Herman Griewisch.

The mayor said that Griewisch is nearing retirement and that Voight has the proper operator’s license for the position. Voight is currently a village employee, and his new position will remain under union rules, the mayor said.

Village crews will not be sent near the former Silver Creek High School building on Main Street due to the deterioration of the structure.

Piccolo said that some sprays were applied to the lawns around the property. “I will not have village workers in danger by getting too close to the building,” he said.

The second and third stories of the brick structure are crumbling, and large pieces of the building are falling to the ground.

The building has not been occupied since 1979, when the school district closed it and moved all classes to the campus on Dickinson Street.