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Letter: ‘Ellison Avenue Bridge In State of Disrepair’

(Editor’s Note: This letter was sent to the State of New York Department of Transportation regarding the Ellison Avenue’s Long Island Rail Road Bridge maintenance.)

I write to lend my strongest possible support to the Village of Westbury and its correct contention that it is the Long Island Rail Road’s obligation to maintain the Ellison Avenue Bridge.

As you know, the bridge is owned by the LIRR and– for far too long – it has been allowed to fall into a state of disrepair. Only after a concerned effort by myself, village officials, residents and others, has the LIRR started to seek the federal funding needed to replace the span.

To date, it is the LIRR that has maintained the Ellison Avenue Bridge and it is they who installed the steel plates. It is clear to me that any additional stopgap repairs to the bridge, including the installation of rubber treading over the plates, would be the responsibility of Rail Road.

The residents of the Village of Westbury have watched for years as this bridge has deteriorated to the point where netting had to be installed to catch any rubble that may become dislodged. The concerns within the community about the continued safety of the bridge are very real. These residents should not be doubly victimized by being forced to shoulder the costs of a bridge that isn’t even village property.

It is my hope that a satisfactory resolution for this issue can be reached, and I am available to help facilitate any such resolution. However, if the village should seek legal action for this, I will be supporting their efforts any way I can.

Thank you. I am available if you wish to discuss this further.

Craig M. Johnson

Senator, 7th District