Morning News Brief

Written by on August 31, 2021

Due to a recent bridge inspection, the South Lyon Street bridge over the Tonawanda Creek in the City of Batavia will be closed to all traffic effective today until further notice.  The bridge is located between Main St (Rt 5) and South Main Street. The bridge had been load posted for 5 ton loads for some time, but a very recent inspection has determined that the bridge can no longer handle the minimum allowable loads of 3 tons.  A bridge replacement is under design and it is scheduled to be replaced completely with a new 2-lane structure.  It is expected that the design will be completed in November and that advertising of construction bids can be completed at that time. The new bridge should be open to the public by the end of September 2022.

Genesee County stands to receive more than $400,000 via a settlement between New York State and the pharmaceutical companies comprising the Johnson & Johnson brand for their role in contributing to the nation’s opioid epidemic. The county’s Human Services Committee, on the advice of County Attorney Kevin Earl, recommended adoption of a resolution that would enable Genesee to participate in the New York Opioid Sharing Agreement. The settlement, negotiated by New York Attorney General Letitia James, would provide Genesee County with between $177,000 and $413,000, with half of the money paid initially – possibly as soon as February 2022 – and the remainder paid incrementally over a 10-year period.

The Sharrick Road Bridge between Colby Road and Harper Road will be closing on Sept. 7 for a bridge replacement project. This project is expected to take 3 months. During this time the road will not be passable to regular traffic or emergency vehicles. A detour will be posted.

This weekend’s announcement by the New York State Department of Health requiring mask wearing for everyone inside all school buildings essentially nullifies any school district reopening plans that recommended, but did not require, face coverings in the classrooms. Oakfield-Alabama was one of those districts that decided to not require masks while teachers and students were in class – basing its decision on an Aug. 4 directive from former Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s office that the state was leaving reopening guidelines up to local school districts in conjunction with local health departments. Friday’s emergency regulation by the NYSDOH — taking its lead from the new governor, Kathy Hochul — is both frustrating and upsetting according to the O-A Superintendent. He said the state should be able to have confidence in local school boards, administrators and teachers to do what is right in the face of a prolonged COVID-19 situation.

Governor Kathy Hochul unveiled a new memorial honoring New York’s fallen highway workers at the Great New York State Fair. The memorial is located near the midway entrance and west of the Horticulture Building on the fairgrounds. It honors all transportation workers killed while doing their job duties on or near New York’s thousands of miles of highways, including State Department of Transportation and Thruway Authority employees, municipal highway workers, contractors, consultants, and towing service employees.

The Sharrick Road Bridge between Colby Road and Harper Road will be closing on Sept. 7 for a bridge replacement project. This project is expected to take 3 months. During this time the road will not be passable to regular traffic or emergency vehicles. A detour will be posted.

Just in case you missed it…Following a call from Gov. Kathy Hochul for a mask mandate in schools, the New York State Department of Health has filed an emergency regulation mandating masks inside all school buildings. According to the report, all students, faculty and staff of public and private schools, pre-K through 12th grade, will be required to wear masks inside school buildings. Visitors will also be required to wear masks inside school buildings.

Governor Kathy Hochul has announced the removal of the final toll booths on the New York State Thruway, a historic and significant milestone in the $355 million Cashless Tolling Design-Build Project. Monday, Cashless Tolling Constructors, LLC began removing the last standing toll plaza at Exit 60 (Westfield), the final of 52 toll plazas, including 230 individual toll booths, that have been removed since cashless tolling went live in November 2020. Exit realignment and road reconstruction continues at interchanges across the Thruway system and is on schedule to be completed by the end of October, weather permitting.

The Batavia Cemetery Association has announced that the annual Halloween Candlelight Ghostwalk…is back! Join them to meet the famous and infamous movers and shakers who shaped and influenced the City of Batavia on Saturday, October 23rd on a ghost walk through the Historic Batavia Cemetery on Harvester Avenue in Batavia. Tours begin at 7:00 p.m. and run every fifteen minutes until 8:30 p.m. Admission is $10 and includes refreshments. Reservations are required. Proceeds benefit the upkeep and restoration of the cemetery.

Today’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $3.15, down one cent from last week. The New York State average is $3.23 – up one cent from last week. In Batavia, the price at the pump is $3.24. Gas prices began to fluctuate over the weekend due to Hurricane Ida impacting the Gulf Coast, though mostly in states in the storm’s path. A storm like this typically causes an increase in fuel purchases in the market and a slowdown in production due to oil refinery shutdowns. Spikes in pump price due to the effects of the storm tend to be brief but dramatic. Furthermore, the upcoming Labor Day weekend holiday travel could push prices up based on demand.

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