Updated 09/11/2012 06:20 PM
Route 23 bridge in Prattsville closes for repairs
A western Green County town heavily affected by tropical storms Irene and Lee is once again taking a huge hit. As our Alexandra Weishaupt tells us, their main bridge has been shut down indefinitely by state inspectors.
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PRATTSVILLE, N.Y. –- A Prattsville bridge along a Catskill road was found to have cracks and is now shut down. And although the cracks aren't related to those two tropical storms, it’s once again a huge blow to the community.
“Before the bridge was closed, the town was coming back,” said Town Supervisor Kory O'Hara.
But it's another setback for Prattsville as the bridge carrying Route 23 over the Schoharie Creek is closed to traffic while inspectors do a structural analysis to determine what repairs need to be made after cracks were found in the bridge's steel.
“It’s kind of an old story with this bridge and the whole town is getting tired of it,” said business owner John Young.
The road has had its fair share of closures over the years and while they're still cleaning up from last year's storms, more closures add to the aggravation for business owners.
“It’s exactly what we really don’t need,” said Young.
What they say they do need is the traffic, but cars are being diverted to State Routes 23, 990V and 30 and County Roads 53, 7 and 39.
“People are looking for a whole other route, or they’re going a whole another direction to go to a grocery store or to get their feed or their hardware tools,” said Young.
Inconveniencing school buses and people coming and going to work. Some are suggesting replacing the bridge all together, but for now, officials are focusing on making this one structurally sound.
“They want an answer, they want an end, they want a new bridge,” said business owner Jim Eisel.
“At this point, I'm just waiting for a good report from DOT what the plan is and how long it’s going to be closed,” said O’Hara.
The town supervisor and crews working to make repairs. They say they are unsure when this bridge will reopen.