TONAWANDA, N.Y. (WIVB) - Chunks of concrete from a two aging bridges in the Town of Tonawanda are falling to the sidewalk below.
Jason Mazurowski jogs underneath the bridges, built in 1965, regularly. On Friday, he noted the chunks of concrete scattered on the sidewalk.
"That could ruin my whole day," he said, "I'm probably going to be a little bit more on the lookout. Maybe try and go out of my way now that I know this is happening."
The two bridges carry Interstate 290 over Parker Boulevard. A News 4 viewer alerted us to the situation after suspecting that the pieces on the sidewalk were falling from the bridge's fascia. Some of the pieces are small, but others are quite large and are fairly heavy.
While the bridges are owned and maintained by the state Department of Transportation, Parker Boulevard is the town's concern.
Michael Kaiser, Director of the Town of Tonawanda Technical Support Department, said, "We got to get it done. With the chunks that I've seen come down at this point, it needs attention right now."
Kaiser says the town will likely send a letter to the state asking that some work be done before a piece falls on a car or a pedestrian.
"You got cars coming underneath, on Parker Boulevard here, under the 290, and you got people walking, and there's some large chunks that could be widow makers," Kaiser said.
According to state DOT bridge data, the two spans were last inspected a year ago. Both have a condition rating of less than 5.0 - which the agency defines as deficient. While it does not mean the bridges are unsafe, it does mean corrective maintenance or rehabilitation is required.
Kaiser says he's not aware of any pieces falling on people or vehicles.
"I haven't heard anything yet," he said. "But it looks like it's just a matter of time."
A state DOT spokesperson tells News 4 the agency is aware of the conditions. Crews will remove loose concrete, and mitigate any potential danger in the short-term.
The bridges are scheduled for a general rehabilitation in about two years from now.
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