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Mayor's office: Railroad says inspection reports for bridge should be released 'soon'

Railroad plans to remove remaining sidewall from bridge span in Syracuse

The city of Syracuse says it has received assurances that previous inspection reports for a railroad bridge that partially collapsed last week will be released to the public "soon."

This comes as the railroad continues work to get the bridge back open after two sections of sidewall on the bridge came crashing to the ground last week.

New York, Susquehanna and Western Railway said it removed a third section of sidewall last week and plans to remove 17 remaining sections starting Tuesday. NYS&W describes the sidewall sections as mainly decorative and not load-bearing. Other than providing an aesthetic touch, the sidewalls also keep stones under the rails and ties from falling off the span.

SEE ALSO | 'Deterioration' of support caused bridge fascias to collapse in Syracuse, railroad says

NYS&W says preliminary work to remove the sidewalls will begin Tuesday and a crane is expected to arrive Wednesday to lift each section of sidewall off the span. Once the sidewalls are removed, NYS&W said it will install concrete barriers or use other methods to keep stones from falling off the span.

NYS&W said it expects it will remove sidewall sections north of W. Onondaga Street first and then progress south. Once work starts on sections south of W. Onondaga Street the street will need to close until the work is finished, railway officials said.

NYS&W’s best estimate at this time is that work of removal of the fascia will continue at least through Sunday, July 15, 2018," the railway said in a statement.

The railway says the span of bridge was built in the 1930's. Since last week's partial collapse rail traffic on the span has been halted. NYS&W says it has been working to re-route its rail traffic until the bridge is back open.

In a statement Tuesday Mayor Ben Walsh's office said it was aware of the railroad's plan to remove additional sidewalls and has been told prior inspection reports for the span are being prepared for release:

“The City of Syracuse is in active communication with the New York Susquehanna & Western Railroad (NYSW) and with our state and federal elected leaders and agencies. We are aware of the railroad’s plan to remove remaining concrete sidewalls on the railroad viaduct and will continue to keep S. Clinton Street closed until that work is completed.

The railroad has told the city that the prior inspection reports requested by the city are being prepared for release and should be received soon. We will be monitoring that closely.

As reported by NYSW, consulting engineers for the railroad are beginning to inspect the remaining bridge structures this week. Inspections will be substantially completed before decisions are made to resume service on the line.”
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