The Southern Tier is still rebuilding from last year’s storms and Whitney Point is no exception. As our Elyse Mickalonis tells us, some neighbors along Ellerson Road say part of it was washed out during the flood and it is still closed because it is too dangerous to drive on. Officials say they’re working on fixing it, but that could mean more time and money.
WHITNEY POINT, N.Y. -- “The road caved in and the big pipe was gone. It went down the railroad tracks and disappeared,” said James Pratt, a Whitney Point resident.
James Pratt says the bridge on Ellerson Road has been out of commission since last year's flooding.
“It was really a mess. For the time being, one lane was open, but then they came in and took care of that,” said Pratt.
After the storms passed, crews came and tried to fix it, but it’s still too dangerous to drive on. Pratt says it’s not just residents having a hard time with the road closure.
“School buses come down and turns around, an old lady has to turn around, the mailman, garbage men,” said Pratt.
David Nackey, the Superintendent of Highways for the Town of Barker, says it would cost more than $390,000 to fix the bridge and right now, they don’t have the money to finance that. He says the closure isn’t affecting all of the residents on the road, just those closest to the damage.
“We have all this extra mileage now. We have to go way down there and come up way back here. That’s a lot of extra mileage we have to pay gas for,” said Pratt.
Nackey says because the cost to fix this portion of the road is so high, they’re looking for cheaper ways to do it. But he doesn’t know what that will entail or when it will happen. Waiting has neighbors worried about future flooding.
"At the other end of the road, if we get enough rain, the road floods and you can't drive through it, it's too deep. So it's like we're on an island,” said Pratt.
More time and money needed for repairs.