Madison County leaders say their dispute over a bridge with the CSX Rail company may soon face nearly every community in New York State as CSX seeks to expand its rail service.
T he Court Street bridge on the main road to Wampsville must be replaced. Madison County leaders say they have been planning the project for a year. They accuse CSX of suddenly demanding a much wider bridge because it intends install a third or fourth rail line where there are now just two.
John Becker, t he Chairman of the Madison County Board of Supervisors says CSX is taking advantage of taxpayers. "It's a shame CSX is not being more neighborly to the communities they go through. They're a big corporation. They're subsidized by the taxpayers. " Becker told CNY Central's Jim Kenyon.
Becker says t he wider bridge will double the cost of the Court Street bridge replacement to about $1 million, but moreover, a 4 month construction project will now take a year or more.
CSX issued a statement Tuesday afternoon which disputes the county's claim that the company is being unreasonable. "CSX appreciates Madison County's concerns regarding the North Court Street Bridge. We continue to discuss potential alternatives with the county and look forward to reaching a satisfactory resolution."
5 thousand drivers cross the bridge every day. M any of them need quick access to the Madison County Office complex in Wampsville. They will be forced to detour through Canastota to the west or the City of Oneida to the east.
K aylee Wines is upset over the pending year-long closure. "I'm out here 2 to 3 times a week sometimes for.doctors appointments and everything. It's just going to be extremely inconvenient." Wines says.
CNY Central's Jim Kenyon travelled the detour route through Canasota. He travelled on Canal Street parallel to the Erie Canal, took Route 13 South through Canastota, Route 5 westbound and back to Court Street to reach the other side of the bridge. Kenyon says the total distance was 6.4 miles with a total travel time of 12 minutes 17 seconds.