Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A Bridge Too Far

Before the discussion at last night's informal Common Council meeting turned on historic preservation, Alderman "Cappy" Pierro (Fifth Ward) reported that his son had stepped through a hole in the Ferry Street Bridge on his way to the waterfront after the Flag Day Parade. Given the condition of the bridge and the difficulty in getting CSX to fix it, Alderman John Friedman (Third Ward) mused, "Maybe we need to take it," presumably by eminent domain. Common Council President Don Moore commented that "if CSX gives it to us or we take it . . . we need to find a source of money" to repair or replace the bridge. When Alderman Chris Wagoner (Third Ward) asked if the City could fine CSX for allowing the bridge to fall into disrepair, Pierro warned, "They'll shut it down if we hassle them. If you push 'em, the state will shut the bridge down." Moore expressed his intention to talk with Bill Roehr of The Grant Writers (TGW Consulting Group) about setting up a meeting with CSX.


  1. Figure out what it costs to fix, fine them for that amount and then take the bridge. The lack of maintenance and disregard for public safety is appalling.

  2. "lack of maintenance and disregard for public safety" is their standard operating procedure. CSX is the most accident prone & infrastructure negligent rail operators in New York State. With almost 1,300 miles of trackage, they are also the largest. In 2011 for example, 1/3 of all rail accidents in NY were CSX. Query the accident data here: http://safetydata.fra.dot.gov/officeofsafety/default.aspx

    While I certainly think a corporation, whose market cap is upwards of 10 billion & whose CEO compensation was over 23 million, could throw us a bone, the evidence seems to say otherwise. We have got to at least get them to the table. But the perennial question remains: where is the money going to come from?

    Two other articles of note about negligence & accountability w/CSX:

  3. The "condition" of the bridge has been an issue of safety for crossing by traffic & pedestrians for many years. At times I believe it was closed either for repair or it being unsafe for public use.
    The No. 1 concern should be can emergency vehicles (firetrucks, ambulances, etc) cross the structure to save lives & property in a timely manner. This issues becomes most important if a train should be at the station & blocking the other access to the waterfront for vehicles.
    Can funds from the State & Federal programs to improve infrastructures be used to repair the bridge?
    Your readers & subscribers should contact their NY State & Federal Representatives requesting immediate action.

  4. Sue CSX for negligence and creating a public hazard .