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Erie, Cattaraugus legislators approve Old Route 219 bridge deal

The legislatures in Erie and Cattaraugus counties have now both agreed to take responsibility for a replacement bridge spanning Cattaraugus Creek on Old Route 219.

The Erie County Legislature on Thursday authorized the county to enter into a maintenance agreement with the state Department of Transportation, while the Cattaraugus County Legislature voted Wednesday to take partial responsibility.

As a result, the state will pick up the $20 million tab of removing the current bridge and constructing a replacement.

Had either county rejected the state’s offer to take ownership of the new replacement bridge, the span would not have been built and the state likely would have taken action to transfer ownership of the old bridge to the counties.

“This bridge is a crucial, but aging, piece of infrastructure for Erie and Cattaraugus county residents and with today’s commitment we are going to ensure this stretch of Old Route 219 remains safe and drivable for decades to come,” Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said Thursday in a prepared statement.