• Sherlock Hollow Bridge on WNY&P

  • Discussion pertaining to the past and present operations of the LAL, the WNYP, and the B&H. Official site: LALRR.COM.
Discussion pertaining to the past and present operations of the LAL, the WNYP, and the B&H. Official site: LALRR.COM.

Moderator: Luther Brefo

  by railwatcher
What others are saying:

From The Salamanca Press:

By:BRIAN QUINN, Staff Writer

LITTLE VALLEY - A majority of Cattaraugus County lawmakers say they should wait to approve a resolution to take over responsibility for the Sherlock Hollow Bridge in Hinsdale.

Under the resolution discussed at Wednesday's legislature meeting, the county would also pay Hinsdale $50,000 and the town would assume maintenance responsibility for and ownership of a 1.1-mile stretch of County Route 26 (Main Street).

Legislators Wednesday voted 10.7252 to 9.3975 to send the resolution back to the public works and finance committees. The next committee meetings are set for July 19 and the next legislature meeting for July 26.

Legislator William Sprague (D-Yorkshire) and other legislators spoke against approving the resolution Wednesday.

Putting in an at-grade crossing would be less expensive than replacing the bridge. Sprague and fellow legislators noted that a highway adjudicatory judge could decide that the bridge could be replaced with an at-grade crossing. The bridge was originally built in 1907.

Mark Burr, director of engineering, said this morning that the current total cost to demolish the bridge and put in an at-grade crossing is about $915,000. This would include costs for demolition, inclusion of railroad signals and redoing the highway, as well as some railroad costs and construction inspection costs. He said the project would receive about 80 percent federal aid and state aid of around 15 percent. The local share would be around five percent.

"$78,000 is the most probable cost for the local share," Burr said. He said the town of Hinsdale, Cattaraugus County, the railroad and state department of transportation agree that replacing the bridge with an at-grade crossing is the proper course of action.

Burr said an engineering feasibility study would have to be developed and given to the judge before he or she could review the matter and make a decision.

"What we have done is put the judge on notice that we have a project that we would like to have reviewed," he said.

The judge may also decide that the bridge should be demolished and replaced with a new bridge. Legislators were told the costs of replacing the current bridge with a new one could go as high as $4 million, which would mean a county share of about $800,000.

Sprague and legislator Kenneth "Bucky" McClune (D-Salamanca) noted that since the county doesn't know the exact costs involved, action on the resolution should be delayed. Liability if the county takes over responsibility for the bridge was also brought up as a concern.

"We're putting the county in jeopardy for something that we don't know it it's going to happen or not," Sprague said.

Burr said if a new bridge has to be put in, project costs would be studied in the feasibility study.

County officials agree that the bridge is dangerous.

"The bridge is currently posted for 12 tons, which means about the heaviest vehicle that can go over it is a school bus," Burr said.

Commissioner of Public Works David Rivet said Wednesday, "We have repaired this bridge in the past. It has been shut down, in my time with the county, at least three times for long periods of time so it could be fixed."

  by railwatcher
Isn't this actually the lowest bridge for the WNYP's high wide route? This is one of the few places that an at grade crossing is safer than the bridge because of the closeness to Rt 16 and the sharp decline to the intersection.

  by pablo
I don't know if it is actually the lowest, but it has to be close.

Dave Becker