Petitions calls for DOT to change plans for Rt. 370 bridge over Seneca River

The State Department of Transportation says it will re-examine the proposed traffic patterns during the re-construction of a well traveled bridge over the Seneca River on Route 370.

DOT Spokesman Gene Cilento told CNY Central's Jim Kenyon that they will "take another look" after he brought to Cilento's attention a petition being circulated among residents and businesses on each side of the bridge. The bridge is on Route 370, connecting the towns of Salina and Lysander.

Margaret O'Mara, who spearheaded the petition drive, says the project will hurt a number of businesses and homeowners because current plans call for shutting down all westbound traffic over the bridge for the duration of the project, from mid-May through November. Essentially, it means the bridge will be limited to one lane of travel eastbound toward the Village of Liverpool, but people heading westbound toward the Village of Baldwinsville would have to detour as much as 10 miles.

O'Mara's petition calls upon the DOT to look into alternatives. She says they could include a traffic light to allow for a single lane of travel each way, or open the eastbound traffic to morning rush hour traffic and vice versa for evening rush hour.

Cilento says the DOT will look into the suggestions but cannot make any promises. He says the reason the state chose to open the bridge to only eastbound traffic is because of a potential backup that could affect motorists travelling on John Glenn Boulevard at Route 370.

Windsor Abbott, of Abbott Farms on Route 370, says the bridge work will hurt his business, especially for customers and visitors who live in Syracuse and Liverpool. Abbott says many will not want to travel the 10 mile detour to get to his farm.

Jim Pynn, who owns J&S Marina on the Seneca River, says that his business may not survive the summer unless the state allows for two way traffic during construction.

Cilento says the state heard many of these concerns during a public meeting on June 26, but because of the petition, the DOT will look into possible changes to its original plans. He says an average of 13,700 vehicles pass over the bridge each day.