WEST SENECA, NY - The Harlem Road bridge over the Buffalo River in West Seneca is now back open. It was closed Thursday night during the storm when state DOT officials say a stretch of concrete came apart causing a gap in the bridge.
The Harlem Road bridge is between Clinton Street and Mineral Springs. State DOT officials say it was a combination of factors over time that caused the concrete to break apart. They include: changing weather temperatures from warm to cold and traffic, over this bridge.
The problem was noticed on the southern part of the bridge. Concrete between the road and the bridge came apart and fell onto a Buffalo River embankment. That gap was about eight feet long, five inches wide. Officials say a driver called West Seneca Police, which contacted the DOT.
The bridge was closed, causing traffic congestion. State traffic data says an average of 19,000 drivers use this bridge everyday.
"Agencies that we deal with the New York State DOT, they were out immediately and helped with the traffic control, the devices, the barriers, I'm confident they wouldn't open anything that's unsafe," said John Gullo, the West Seneca Emergenecy manager.
A contractor based in Elma worked on repairing the bridge for much of the day. Laying down concrete and using a torch, as you can see here to allow the concrete to dry. The bridge was reopened a few hours ago.
There is no doubt this is an old bridge, built back in 1911. That's why the DOT is building a new bridge here, right next to the current one. State DOT officials say the project is still on track to be complete in December 2018.