Sherlock Hollow bridge closed in Hinsdale
Some residents in the town of Hinsdale are concerned about what they say is a somewhat risky detour which stems from the sudden shutdown of a bridge carrying an access road over a railroad track. They called 2 on Your Side to ask us to look into the situation with town and county officials.
Town officials say the 104 year old bridge just off Route 16 which carries Sherlock Hollow Road over the track of the Western New York and Pennsylvania Railroad was deemed structurally deficient in a state inspection earlier this month. Town Supervisor Monroe Bishop says the town had no choice but to shut it down because they feared it might collapse under the weight of a school bus or some other vehicle.
The town did set up a detour over nearby Flanigan Hill Road but some people feel the road rises at a steep angle with many turns and even washed out ditches at the side of the road. They fear there could be problems with that detour route in the winter months.
Town Highway Superintendent Ron Brown says his department has upgraded the road to make it wider and there are shoulder improvements. Brown says he realizes the timing of the bridge closing and the oncoming winter season may cause some inconvenience. He would have preferred to get notice from the state in the spring when they could have made some adjustments.
Resident Bob Aldrich still questions why the town and Cattaraugus County decided to re-deck the bridge three years. He feels an inspection at that point should have called for more structural repairs.
The town and county say the best choice now is for an at - grade rail crossing. The state DOT is expected to make a decision on that plan in the coming weeks. Cattaraugus County Public Works Commissioner Joseph Pillittere says they hope to use federal funding to help cover the estimated one million dollar cost of the crossing.