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LATEST: Closure of W. Bayard Street in Seneca Falls could persist for weeks or months

A portion of W. Bayard Street is closed indefinitely, after an inspection last week of an underground tunnel that connects the north and sound ends of the roadway – leading into the canal.

The Seneca Falls Town Board discussed the matter at Tuesday’s meeting; and in an update on Wednesday – Councilman Doug Avery, who is running for Town Supervisor, added detail to those initial discussions.

“The tunnel under W. Bayard Street is failing,” he explained. “The street was closed at Canal Corp’s insistence.” He says that temporary solutions have been discussed, but none have satisfied all parties involved for safety.

“DOT says it will be weeks or months, but not years,” Avery added. He said that Town Highway Superintendent Jim Peterson noted that due to the State’s decisions in the matter, that an an outcome would be a while away.

As result though, some changes will be coming to the residential neighborhoods around West Bayard Street, between Ovid and Bridge streets.

First, parking is being eliminated on some streets south of the W. Bayard block. “The reason for that is that the largest of our fire trucks can only cross the Ovid Street bridge,” Avery explained. “As they exit the firehouse, to get to the north side of Town, they’ll turn south at Bridge, then cut back across through a neighborhood to reach Ovid Street, and cross the canal at the bridge.”

He says that parked cars would have hampered first responders movements through town in the event of an emergency.

He says that signage to reflect the temporary changes would be going up on Wednesday.

Second, detour signs were noted as confusing – even for some truck drivers. Center Street, which is a small street that cuts between Bayard and Ovid Streets – was thought to be it – but that is not the case.

Avery says that DOT put up the detour signs, and that updated signage would reflect the actual route of the detour, which takes motorists further south on Ovid Street before moving them over the Bridge Street.

Despite the best efforts of Town employees and officials, the community appears to be gridlocked for the time being, as the state moves forward with work under the busy stretch of W. Bayard Street.


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