A pedestrian bridge gives Sunrise Terrace residents access to the Otsiningo Park area. [Bob Joseph/WNBF News][/caption]

A public meeting has been scheduled to discuss plans for a pedestrian bridge used by residents of a Town of Dickinson neighborhood.

The deteriorating span over Interstate 81 has been in use for nearly 50 years.

Officials from the state Department of Transportation will discuss a bridge planning study assessing future options at the upcoming meeting. The session will be held at the town hall on Old Front Street on January 17. A presentation will be made at 6 p.m. A question-and-answer session will follow.

The existing bridge does not provide enough vehicle clearance over the highway under current guidelines. It also is not in compliance with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act.

Some Sunrise Terrace residents are opposed to a plan to remove the old bridge without replacing it. They are concerned they'll lose a route between their neighborhood and the area just west of Otsiningo Park.

Town Supervisor Michael Marinaccio said there will be "a lot of unhappy people" if a new bridge isn't constructed.

If the state opts to build a multi-use path, the town will be responsible for its maintenance. Marinaccio said it will be a challenge to keep the path clear of ice and snow.

Marinaccio also is concerned about access to the Sunrise Terrace area in the event of an emergency.
He said the neighborhood would be "kind of locked in" without the bridge.

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