One over-loaded engineer, is all, it turns out, that stood between Granville and a replacement for the trestle bridge.
Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation senior engineer Jason Penge told a group of Granville residents Tuesday the project narrowly missed completion in time to be funded before the current budget crisis caused Governor David Paterson to call a halt to state spending.
Penge spoke to representatives from the village, the Border Riders snowmobile group and a Granville revitalization group representative detailing how he was unable to finish designing the Granville span before the governor pulled the plug on funding.
The money for all of the Parks and Rec. projects was deposited in Albany, Penge explained, and the projects were being funded as their design was completed.
The problem, for Granville and the Rail Trail, had been recent losses to the department which left Penge alone in his office with a mountain of unfinished work to do.
“I had only been working there for a few days when I was told ‘No more,’” Penge said.
Mayor Jay Niles, Molly Biggs-Celani, Dan Williams, Dwayne Daigle, Dan Boone and others listened as the Parks and Rec. engineer explained the process going forward to ensure Granville ends up with a bridge.
Penge said the span would be a prefabricated steel unit that could be easily placed once “spec-ed out,” ordered and brought to the site.
Echoing Alane Chinian, Parks and Rec. regional supervisor who attended the Oct. 6 village board meeting to answer questions, Penge said the replacement was “as big a priority with us as it is with you.”
The next step for Parks and Rec. was to design a bridge to accommodate the needs of the area from appearance to function.
Penge told the group it would be at least partially up to them to determine what specifications the bridge would have, including what type of deck material was used, how wide it was and what it might look like.
Penge took email addresses and phone numbers from the group and ensured them he would provide links to information about bridge types and designs that were available. The group should take some time and choose a bridge they thought fit and forward him their preferences to be incorporated into the final design.
“Get some ideas and then we’ll price it out,” Penge said.
“It’s whatever you want, we want to put a bridge there that you’re happy with,” Penge told the group.
Design should be completed before the first of the year, he said.
With the design complete, Penge said the next step would be to await funding from the state.
“Money will come back to Parks and Rec., we’ve got no doubts about that,” he said.
Niles said that the village hoped to have their portions of the Rail Trail finished by the fall of 2009, the bridge included, because Telescope Casual Furniture had nearly completed their trail section that bypasses the Church Street factory and the town had the southern connection point already completed.
The news struck Williams as a positive.
He said he had some doubts about the state’s commitment to getting a bridge back in Granville three or four months ago, but recent developments have changed his mind.
“I’m extremely confident now, I think we’ll have a bridge here by this time next year,” Williams said.