LIVERPOOL, N.Y. (NCC News)—General discontent. The previewed changes did not sit well with the public that attended the DOT’s informational meeting at Chestnut Hill Middle School.
“So my way home is going to be a one-way Onondaga Lake Parkway,” one individual said. The comment, in jest, was followed by laughter.
“It’s just going to back up Old Liverpool Road,” another attendee complained.
“This isn’t going to solve anything,” said another.
The changes that produced the disgruntled responses: reducing the parkway from four lanes to two, dropping the speed limit year-round to 45 miles-per-hour, a raised median and increased signage to warn drivers of the notoriously low, 10’ 9” bridge.
The last of those changes produced the most reaction. Included in that would also be more high-tech sensors to detect any vehicles that will not clear the bridge. Onondaga County Sheriff Eugene Conway said there is no point in spending more money on signage when “idiot drivers” continually ignore it as is.
“But I am obviously beyond the point of being frustrated about the fact that we continue to respond to calls where people can’t heed the warnings and wind up hitting the bridge.”
Ed Rodriguez, an Assistant Design Engineer for the project, said the DOT’s hands were tied with the bridge. CSXT, the company that owns it would not support any adjustments to the bridge. On the other hand, Rodriguez said, the parkway could not be lowered at all due to flood levels from the lake. So, the height remains the same.
“There’s just no way to change clearance of the bridge,” Rodriguez said. “So as long as the state is willing to pay for replacing the bridge and there’s minimal disruption to their [CSXT’s] line, they [CSXT] might entertain a replacement in the future. That’s a long process, though.”
If changes are approved, the project is expected to be finished by summer or fall of 2022.