U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) recently sent a letter to CSX Corp. calling on the Class I to prioritize the removal of three abandoned rail bridges in Ogden and Spencerport, N.Y.
The bridges have been abandoned for decades, and the deteriorating structures pose "serious danger to motorists and residents," Schumer wrote. In recent months, some commercial trucks have become lodged under the bridges, causing traffic delays, impeding emergency services and "stifling the flow of commercial goods," he said.
In February, CSX hired a contractor to remove all three bridges, but the contractor failed to perform the work and the structures remain in place, wrote Schumer.
"When the rail service ended on these lines in 1982, so did maintenance and safety upgrades, and now CSX must step up to the plate and make the removal of these bridges a No. 1 priority," he said.
CSX already is taking action to demolish the bridges. Last week, the Class I entered into a memorandum of understanding with Monroe County that releases the county's preferential rights to the former rail corridor between Ogden and Brockport, N.Y., which includes the bridge in Spencerport, said CSX spokesman Bob Sullivan in an email. The agreement also releases the requirement that no potential transportation-related structure be removed along the corridor.
The county's rights stem from a 1993 decision by the Interstate Commerce Commission, a Surface Transportation Board predecessor, that's related to Conrail's abandonment of the line for rail service, he said. CSX acquired the abandoned corridor in 1999 as part of the Conrail transaction.
CSX is now taking bids on the demolition of the Spencerport structure, said Sullivan.
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