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State approves East Chatham traffic light

Dec 14, 2017 1:55 pm
Emilia Teasdale reports in The Columbia Paper that there will be traffic lights and one-way signage on the Albany Turnpike Bridge in East Chatham. The state Department of Transportation approved the signs and lights after two years of review. Republican State Senator Kathy Marchione helped secure funds in 2016 towards the cost of the project. The bridge itself is a larger issue, with the town making a deal in 2013 with the CSX railroad to rebuild the bridge “at no cost to the town in exchange for the town’s assumption of ownership and maintenance responsibility of the bridge upon completion.” CSX replaced the bridge in early 2014, but the town has not yet taken ownership of the bridge. Chatham Town Supervisor Maria Lull says that Chatham Town Attorney Sal Ferlazzo has been discussing the bridge issue with CSX and hoped to have a meeting with the state about the plan. “Until the matter is resolved, the town has refused to accept legal ownership of the bridge,” Lull wrote in an email to The Columbia Paper. The supervisor says that the state’s approval of the traffic light means, “the town will be in a position to attempt to complete its negotiations with CSX.” Read the full story in The Columbia Paper. Mr. Rickert said in a phone interview that he, along with Ms. Lull and Town Budget Officer Tammy Shaw, are meeting with the town’s engineers next week. He said the town still needs to meet some qualifications from the state and apply for permits to do the work. But he said he’s “pushing our engineers” to get construction bids out by March of 2018. The next Town Board meeting is Thursday, December 21 at 6 p.m. in the Town Hall on Route 295.