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Mohawk Valley

Leaders look to fix bridge

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CNY/NNY/S. Tier: Leaders look to fix bridge
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One section of road in Binghamton has been giving truck drivers a difficult time for years now. YNN's Elyse Mickalonis explains what the city is doing to help truck drivers get under the Front Street railroad bridge and keep everyone else sharing the road safe.

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -- It’s an area that’s gotten truckers into some real sticky situations.

"The standard clearance for bridges is 13.5 feet in an urban setting, these bridge are lower than that, they’re post a foot lower than the clean but it doesn’t seem to matter trucks get stuck under there,” said Phil Krey, Binghamton City Engineer.

Leaders met Friday to talk about what’s being done to the front street rail road bridge. Binghamton was recently awarded $3.5 million from the Highway Safety Improvement Program to fix multiple safety problems at the intersection of Front and Clinton streets.

"The intersection has a bad record for accidents and mostly related to the signal system. Compared to the state average, it’s almost eight times as bad as the state-wide average for similar intersections,” said Krey.

The city is going update the signal system, add pedestrian facilities and lower the road beneath the bridge instead of raising the bridge itself.

"By lowering the road we’ll get the minimum clearance so they won’t have to be signed,” said Krey. “We shouldn’t have any more trucks getting stuck."

City officials say they hope by fixing the problem the road will be made safer, not only for truck drivers, but everyone else who shares the road.

"By lowering the roadways under the bridge, it will improve the sight distance to the signals even though the intersection is most known for truck crashes, which are very serious, just your more routine type of car accidents will be taken care of too,” said Krey.

They are necessary changes that they say should ensure everyone gets home safely.

Officials say construction will begin spring of 2014 and it completed later in the year.

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