BINGHAMTON, NY (WIVT/WBGH) – Binghamton is hiring an outside firm to inspect the safety and condition of privately-owned railroad bridges in the city.
Mayor Jared Kraham said many of the overpasses are unsightly and crumbling.
The one carrying railroad tracks over Glenwood Avenue has numerous columns with exposed rebar and chunks of concrete falling down from overhead.
Kraham said the city has at least 28 railroad bridges with 25 of them owned by Norfolk Southern and the remaining 3 by New York Susquehanna and Western.
The structures are privately owned and regulated by the federal government so Kraham says the city has no official oversight.
Kraham said, “Although the city doesn’t own them, we are not responsible for regulating them, we can’t just sit back and say it’s someone else’s problem. We’re going to take the initiative, put the railroad companies on notice and really kick start, hopefully, improvements that the public can see.”
The city is issuing a Request for Qualifications for interested firms and has set aside $50,000 for the study.
Kraham says he’ll use the results to lobby the railroad companies to make repairs, not only for safety, but also to make them look better.
He says he’ll also take the information to federal representatives to see if they can pass legislation to make the railroads more accountable for the condition of their bridges.
NewsChannel 34 reached out to Norfolk Southern for comment but did not receive a reply.