10.23.14

SCHUMER: TRESTLES CARRYING CSX TRAINS THROUGH HEART OF ROME ARE A MAJOR EYESORE & FALLING DEBRIS HAS BECOME A DANGER TO THE COMMUNITY; CSX PROMISED TO ADDRESS SITUATION, BUT HAS NOT TAKEN ACTION – SCHUMER CALLS ON CSX TO STEP UP & BRING TRESTLES UP TO CODE

Two Dilapidated Train Trestles Along Martin St. Are The First Thing Visitors To Rome See When Exiting Train Station; They Are 150 Yards From a New Boat Launch & Pavilion – Debris Including Concrete, Rebar & Stone Falls On Street Below, Putting Motorists & Pedestrians In Danger; Threatens To Undermine Tourism, Commerce & Waterfront Revitalization Schumer Calls On CSX To Fix Trestles, Comply With Rome’s Requests Before Condition Gets Worse – Local Officials Got CSX To Agree To Clean Up & Repair Tr

Today, at the Rome Train Station, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer urged CSX to make sorely-needed repairs and aesthetic fixes to two trestles running through the center of Rome. Schumer said that two CSX-owned-and-maintained trestles along Martin Street, one crossing over Mill Street and the other crossing over S. James Street, have become eyesores in the community and the debris falling from these trestles – including concrete, rebar, and stone – is posing a threat to motorists and pedestrians. Schumer said that these two trestles need to be fixed because they are one of the first things a visitor sees when entering Rome, and because they are located alongside Rome’s waterfront re-development, just 150 yards from a new boat launch, pavilion and streetscape. Schumer noted that Rome officials got CSX to agree to clean up the trestles and make repairs back in 2013, but no work has been done. Schumer urged CSX to follow through on its promises, bring the bridge up to code and clean it up so Rome can provide a better and safer welcome to visitors.

“It is time for CSX to step up and fix these trestles, which have become a serious risk to both the City of Rome’s economic development and its residents’ safety. They are an eyesore and are threatening to undermine the nearby waterfront redevelopment,” said Schumer. “As these trestles continue to age, instances of falling debris will become more common and it is only a matter of time before someone gets hurt. CSX must follow through on the promise it made to the City of Rome nearly two years ago and fix the trestles once and for all. We cannot afford to wait any longer.”

“It’s good to know that Senator Schumer is just a phone call away when it comes to efforts that complete the beautification and ensure the public safety of Rome. For a long time now, we have been following the CSX protocol to no avail. Our hope is that with this little nudge by our senior Senator, CSX will get moving on these repairs in short order,” said Rome Mayor Joe Fusco.

Schumer explained that the two train trestles on Martin Street, crossing both Mill Street and South James Street, are dilapidated and in dire need of repair. These trestles are the first thing many tourists, residents and commuters see when they first exit the train station, and Schumer says these decaying structures have the potential to undermine tourism and are a bad visual for people arriving in Rome. What’s more, Schumer said, is these trestles are also visible from the new multi-million dollar waterfront revitalization effort taking place in Rome. These trestles are located just 150 yards from the new boat launch, pavilion and streetscape project that are a part of this revitalization project. Schumer explained that this boat launch serves as the entrance to the New York State canal system and the decrepit trestles’ proximity to this major economic development project could potentially undermine Rome’s efforts to revamp the welcome mat for the city at the harbor.

During his visit to Rome, Schumer said that these broken-down trestles are more than just an eyesore; they are dangerous. Schumer explained that concrete, rebar, and stone have fallen from these structures in recent years. This poses a serious risk to the cars and pedestrians that drive and walk underneath the trestles. Schumer noted that, while there have been no injuries reported yet, these trestles will continue to deteriorate and have the potential to cause real harm to residents, visitors and their property.

Schumer explained that, for nearly two years, the City of Rome has attempted to work with CSX officials to upgrade and bring up to code these two train trestles located on Martin Street. In 2013, officials from the City of Rome met with CSX representatives and discussed how to address the two dilapidated trestles and the falling debris. During this meeting, CSX agreed to provide the city with reports on the condition of the bridges so that the need for repairs could be assessed. At the conclusion of the meeting, CSX agreed to meet with engineers to address the structural issues surrounding the trestles as well as make the repairs needed to prevent falling debris. However, Schumer said, no progress has been made since this meeting and Rome officials continue to hit CSX with code violations. Therefore, Schumer is pushing CSX to follow through on its promises to the City of Rome, its residents, and its visitors. Schumer is urging CSX to provide a report on the overall condition of the trestles and make repairs and aesthetic upgrades.

Schumer was joined by Rome Mayor Joe Fusco, City Codes officials and representatives from the Rome Chamber of Commerce.

A copy of Senator Schumer’s letter to Michael Ward, Chairman, President and CEO of CSX appears below: 

Dear Mr. Ward,

I write today in regards to an important issue in Rome, New York. As you may know, Rome is home to a number of CSX owned and maintained train trestles. These trestles, particularly the two running along Martin Street, one crossing over Mill Street and the other crossing over S. James Street, have fallen into an extreme state of disrepair. Local officials have spoken at length to CSX officials in an effort to have the structural and aesthetic issues on these trestles addressed, but to date no progress has been made. I urge you to work with local officials to quickly and fully address the issues with these trestles.

These decaying trestles have a significant negative impact on the City of Rome. The trestles run through the heart of the city and are one of the first things a visitor sees when entering Rome. As the trestles continue to crumble and decay they hurt the downtown aesthetics and as a result they are having a negative impact on the new waterfront re-development happening just a few hundred yards away. In addition, the trestles pose a risk to the safety of motorists and pedestrians. Concrete, debris, stone, and rebar have routinely fallen off the bridge and pose a significant safety concern to the local community.

The community has undertaken efforts in the past to address these trestles, and in 2013 after meeting with the community CSX officials agreed to make some repairs. Unfortunately, the promised improvements never occurred and as a result the trestles remain an eyesore and a safety hazard. I urge you to work with Rome to help address these issues and appreciate your consideration of this request.

Sincerely,

Charles E. Schumer

United States Senator

 

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