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Bridges on 420, 11C reopen to traffic

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BRASHER FALLS - Two bridges that were closed following this week’s floods were reopened to traffic on Friday.

Both the bridge on the state Route 420 extension in Winthrop and the Main Street bridge on state Route 11C in downtown Brasher Falls had been closed since Tuesday.

Brasher Supervisor M. James Dawson said he and other officials had met Thursday at the Brasher Municipal Building to discuss the Route 11C bridge and see what they could do to get it reopened.

Among the others who were at the meeting were Jeff Farrell, representing Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo’s office, county Deputy Fire Coordinator Frank Burns, Brasher-Winthrop Fire Chief Patrick “Pappy” Kowalchuk, Chris Adams from the Tri-Town Rescue Squad, Brasher Highway Superintendent Larry Hewlett, Brasher Councilmen William Demo and Mark Peets, and representatives from the Department of Transportation and New York State Police.

“We tried to gather the movers and shakers of emergency services. We were most concerned about the 11C bridge,” Mr. Dawson said.

He also met with Department of Transportation officials at both bridges Friday and had originally anticipated that the 11C bridge would remained closed at least for the weekend until the water had lowered and officials could check for damage.

“The water has dropped precipitously,” Mr. Dawson said.

His concern this week has been for businesses impacted by the 11C bridge closure. Travelers were still able to reach their destination, but via a much longer detour route until the Route 420 extension bridge reopened.

“I’m obviously very concerned for the businesses in town. I’m concerned about people who want to go to the post office,” he said.

If the bridge had remained closed, there would have also been issues with transportation to and from St. Lawrence Central School when classes resume next week, Mr. Dawson said.

He said there had been concerns about bridge damage based on what he had heard from Mr. Burns, Mr. Hewlett and the Department of Transportation.

“They all told me the same story - there was like an earthquake. Something hit the bridge, shook the ground and made a tremendous noise. I had the same testimony from three different people - something hit it,” he said.

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