The bridge closure also closes off vehicular access toThe bridge over CSX railroad tracks provides the only access to several businesses located at the far end of the no-outlet street.
- A well-used boat launching site on the canal
- The Canalway Bike Trail
- The Utica Marsh Nature Trail System and watchtower
- A picnic pavilion and a couple fishing spots
- New wetlands which were constructed this past summer
The situation that is being created -- public facilities (and money) that will go to waste -- private taxable property that will become essentially worthless -- is the result of bungling on all levels of government.
First it is absolutely breathtaking that the City of Utica strong-armed CWSI to move to its new Barnes Ave. site this summer while knowing that the bridge eventually was going to go. . . . and didn't anyone think that the trucks going over that bridge would hasten deterioration?
Second, a LOT of heavy machinery and trucks moved over that bridge when the new wetlands were constructed over the summer to offset wetlands that would be taken for the Marcy Nanocenter. Didn't the county or the state or whomever planned the new wetlands consider the impacts to the bridge of the construction?
Third, when all the public facilities were planned, didn't anyone think about permanent maintenance of future accessibility?
Utica obviously has fiscal problems. While the CWSI situation is inexcusable, why should Utica be expected to maintain the only access to properties that are located in Marcy? . . . properties from which Marcy collected taxes for the last 50 years. And why should Utica taxpayers be expected to spend millions to provide access to what are regional recreational facilities?
Why was Barnes Ave. never annexed into Utica after the Thruway severed its connection with River Road in Marcy? Why do Maynard volunteer firefighters cover this area when Utica has a fire station in West Utica nearby? Let's keep doing things as we've always done even though it no longer makes sense.
Greater Utica is a practical reality that needs to become a political entity. . . .
Barnes Ave with its stranded businesses and public facilities is the latest victim of local parochialism .