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Local bridges in desperate need of repair
Perinton, N.Y. - John Shuman lives just a stone's throw away from the Bushnell's Basin Fire Department.
“We can see the firehouse from here and you could swim faster than get a fire truck here,” Shuman said.
If there were an emergency, usually fire crews could get to Shuman's street in about a minute or two.
But because of the weight limits, fire crews have to take another route, using Kreag Road to Route 31, back around to Marsh Road.
“My biggest concern with the bridge and the weight limits is the fire department getting to us in a timely manner and the ambulance,” nearby resident Karen Steamer said.
Bushnell's Basin Fire Chief Gregory Gulick said while that alternative route takes seven to eight minutes, they're still working to continue the same level of service.
“Whether it's for a medical condition that we respond to or a fire or any type of call, it's their worst emergency and we want to get there as timely as possible to help them out,” Chief Gulick said.
That's why he's making his plea to lawmakers to make repairs.
Chief Gulick said he was originally told repairs may start in 2016, but Gulick worries those dates may change.
“It doesn't have the large amount of use and it has another way around that it's going to get continued to get pushed out,” Gulick said.
But residents say that's unacceptable.
They say changes need to be made and soon.
“The taxes here are high. I'd like to see our bridges in good repair,” said Shuman. That's plain and simple. We pay for it, we get it.”
Chief Gulick says the department has applied for federal grants, to buy a smaller emergency vehicle that would be able to cross the bridge and provide immediate service until their larger vehicles could make it around.
Wednesday morning Congresswoman Louise Slaughter will highlight a bill that would create billions of dollars for infrastructure.
The legislation would add $19.5 billion to the Highway Maintenance Trust Fund by prohibiting corporate inversions.
That’s a practice by which U.S. companies relocate their headquarters abroad to avoid paying federal taxes.
A recent state report on the condition of bridges in Monroe County can be seen here.