OXFORD – The bridge in the center of Oxford has little time left. Tuesday night at a public meeting, officials explained the situation. “We’re lucky if we get another three to four years out of this (bridge),” said Chenango County Public Works Director Randy W. Gibbon.
The Oxford truss bridge has been in use for nearly 53 years. “The bridge is old. It’s just the way it goes; these things don’t last forever,” said Project Manager David L. Kennicutt. Kennicutt works for Delta Engineers, which has been evaluating the condition of the current bridge and will be responsible for the technical supervision in construction of a new one.
The bridge received a major overhaul in 1990 and the county recently had to perform emergency repairs. The bridge is regularly inspected, but the damage found at the last inspection in 2005 was seriously worse than predicted. “The severity of this snuck up on everybody. The way these are designed, it can be difficult to tell the actual extent of the damage. When the damage does become obvious, it is often worse than it appears and these things will get exponentially worse in a short amount of time,” said Kennicutt.