UPDATE: BINGHAMTON, NY – NewsChannel 34 has learned that the failed Chenango Street arch, that has cut Binghamton’s Northside in two, was designed by New York State.
The underpass has been closed for more than a year after it was discovered that Interstate 81 above it was sinking.
The closure has caused severe economic hardship to nearby businesses.
The New York State Department of Transportation originally predicted that repairs would take 3 months, but a number of strategies to shore up the precast concrete arch failed.
Workers are currently constructing forms and pouring a new concrete arch.
Going back to June of last year, DOT has not admitted that its engineers designed the underpass.
Instead, DOT told NewsChannel 34 that it was “looking into determining liability and accountability in order to recover cost of strengthening the structure.”
However today, it issued a statement acknowledging that it produced the specifications that were used by their consultant and product manufacturers to design the bridge.
An official with Lancaster Development and Tully Construction, which installed the precast arch, confirms to NewsChannel 34 that the state designed the underpass as part of Phase 1 of the Prospect Mountain project.
Lancaster says it performed the work 100% to the specifications of the DOT design.
The DOT says it is encouraged by recent progress on the reconstruction and hopes to have the underpass open to a single lane of traffic by the end of the year if not sooner.
It says it can’t estimate the total cost while it’s still in the middle of pouring concrete.