OXFORD – After receiving over $5 million in funding and working for 12 years, a representative of the Chenango County Industrial Agency confirmed last month’s floods have damaged a section of Chenango County’s recently restored railroad.
According to Commerce Chenango President and CEO Steve Craig, a section of railroad between Oxford and Brisben eroded after a historic stream bed washed out the area. Craig said the floods displaced trees, soil, and rock, ultimately disrupting a section of the railroad’s foundation.
“The damage was caused by a historic stream bed,” said Craig. “We did address the bed as part of the restoration project, but the additions couldn’t withstand last months flooding."
Craig said the amount of flooding in the area throughout September overwhelmed their initial attempt at protecting that section of railroad by blocking off the stream bed, but the agency hasn’t given up on keeping the railroad operational.
“In the original project we underspent by $100,000, so we’re hoping to use that fact as we build a case for addition grant funds through federal grants,” said Craig. “The cost to fix this section of railroad is a relatively small amount compared to what we’ve invested into the project so far.”
He said in the meantime, cargo shipments will still be able to traverse the area using other nearby railroads.
Earlier this year, on June 13, the Chenango County Industrial Agency shipped a commercial freight through Norwich and, at the time, officials said the commercial freight signaled the completion of its railroad restoration project.