OSWEGO COUNTY - The U.S. Route 11 bridge over the Oneida River connecting Oswego County and Onondaga County is set to be replaced in 2021.
Cicero Supervisor Mark Venesky said the town conducted an informational meeting Aug. 12 to let people and business owners learn about the project. He said the state Department of Transportation is planning to replace the bridge with new steel, supports and driving surface in a project that should last about a year.
“This bridge has outlived its useful life,” Venesky said. “The bridge is over 50 years old and the last time it was repaired was 25 years ago.” He added the bridge is not unsafe and can still be used now and even through the replacement project.
The bridge connects not only the two counties but also two parts of the hamlet of Brewerton. Venesky said the Brewerton Revitalization Committee has been key is helping work on a plan to replace or repair the bridge.
Probably the best part of the upcoming project is the bridge will not be completely closed down during construction. Venesky said plans now call for one lane of the bridge to remain open at all times while work is done on other portions of the bridge. There will be a traffic light on each end of the bridge to control traffic driving on the open lane.
Venesky also said there will be a barge in the water beneath the bridge as part of the project. He said it was imperative that the bridge replacement not impede boat traffic on the river heading toward Oneida Lake or coming out of the lake into the river. Tourism, boating and fishing are a huge economic impact in the Hastings-Cicero area.
Of course, anyone from the Brewerton or Hastings area that want to bypass the bridge all together could use Interstate 81 as an alternate route.
No town money — either from Hastings or Cicero — is being used in the bridge project.