Directs the commissioner of transportation, upon a finding that a bridge has consistent defects and/or safety concerns, to establish and implement an emergency plan for the drivers and the communities that would be affected if such bridge closes for repairs.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the highway law, in relation to directing the commissioner of transportation, upon a finding that a bridge has consistent structural defects and/or safety concerns, to establish and implement an emergency plan for the drivers and the communities affected by the closure of such bridge
PURPOSE: Directs the Commissioner of the Department of Transportation to establish and implement an emergency plan for drivers and communities affected by a closure of a bridge prior to such closure.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Section 1 amends paragraphs (d) and (e) of subdivision 3 of section 231 of the highway law and add a new paragraph (f) is added requiring upon the finding that a bridge has consistent structural defects and/or safety concerns determined in accordance with the uniform code of bridge inspection, establish and implement an emergency plan for rerouting the traffic and for assisting the drivers and communities affected should a closure of such bridge be necessary.
Section 2 - This act shall take effect immediately.
JUSTIFICATION: The Lake Champlain Bridge which spanned the state line between Crown Point, New York and Chimney Point, Vermont was closed in October 2009 and demolished in December 2009 due to major structural defects. The closure of the bridge caused economic hardship for commuters and local businesses as traffic is greatly reduced on both sides of the lake. The two main detours for commuters were private ferry services; one about 15 miles south of the bridge, and the other service about 25 miles of the bridge. Even with expanded hours, and New York State subsidies, the two private services could not meet the demand nor could they continue operating once ice formed on the Lake.
In February 2010 a temporary ferry service began operating at the site of the original bridge. This ferry service runs approximately every 15 minutes, 24 hours a day free to riders due to a subsidy provided by the New York State Department of Transportation.
Although the response of the closure was addressed fairly quickly, the economic and personal disruptions could have been lessened if a plan was in place prior to the closure of the bridge. With many other bridges in similar or worse shape than the Lake Champlain Bridge this legislation would assist other communities facing similar inconveniences.
LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: 2010: S. 7250 Transportation; A. 10996 Transportation 2011-12 S. 555 Referred to Transportation
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: To be determined.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 1363 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 9, 2013 ___________Introduced by Sens. LITTLE, LARKIN, RANZENHOFER -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Transportation AN ACT to amend the highway law, in relation to directing the commis- sioner of transportation, upon a finding that a bridge has consistent structural defects and/or safety concerns, to establish and implement an emergency plan for the drivers and the communities affected by the closure of such bridge THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Paragraphs (d) and (e) of subdivision 3 of section 231 of the highway law, as added by chapter 781 of the laws of 1988, are amended and a new paragraph (f) is added to read as follows: (d) make available training materials to persons performing mainte- nance and inspection pursuant to this article;
[and](e) prescribe qualifications of bridge design, construction, and inspection experience for licensed professional engineers who may perform or supervise bridge inspections or evaluations in accordance with the provisions of this article [.]; AND (F) UPON THE FINDING THAT A BRIDGE HAS CONSISTENT STRUCTURAL DEFECTS AND/OR SAFETY CONCERNS, AS DETERMINED IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE UNIFORM CODE OF BRIDGE INSPECTION ESTABLISHED PURSUANT TO SECTION TWO HUNDRED THIRTY-TWO OF THIS ARTICLE, ESTABLISH AND IMPLEMENT AN EMERGENCY PLAN FOR REROUTING THE TRAFFIC, AND FOR ASSISTING THE DRIVERS AND COMMUNITIES AFFECTED SHOULD A CLOSURE OF SUCH BRIDGE BE NECESSARY PURSUANT TO SUBDI- VISION TWO OF THIS SECTION. S 2. This act shall take effect immediately.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD01131-01-3