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November 11, 2019 - 12:04pm

Press release:

The Western New York Public Health Alliance is urging everyone over the age of 6 months to get a flu vaccine to protect themselves from the effects of influenza. Influenza is a potentially serious disease that can lead to hospitalization and sometimes even death.

Every flu season is different, and influenza infection can affect people differently, but millions of people get flu every year, hundreds of thousands of people are hospitalized and thousands to tens of thousands of people die from flu-related causes every year.

An annual seasonal flu vaccine is the best way to help protect against flu. Vaccination has been shown to have many benefits including reducing the risk of flu illnesses, hospitalizations and even the risk of flu-related death in children.

It is important that people understand how the flu vaccine works. Flu vaccines cause antibodies to develop in the body about two weeks after vaccination. These antibodies provide protection against infection with the viruses that are used to make the vaccine.

The seasonal flu vaccine protects against the influenza viruses that research indicates will be most common during the upcoming season.

Most flu vaccines in the United States protect against four different flu viruses (“quadrivalent”); an influenza A (H1N1) virus, an influenza A (H3N2) virus, and two influenza B viruses. There are also some flu vaccines that protect against three different flu viruses (“trivalent”); an influenza A (H1N1) virus, an influenza A (H3N2) virus, and one influenza B virus. Two of the trivalent vaccines are designed specifically for people 65 and older to create a stronger immune response.

It is also important to understand when to get a flu shot. You should get a flu vaccine before flu viruses begins spreading in your community, since it takes about two weeks after vaccination for antibodies to develop in the body and provide protection against flu.

Make plans to get vaccinated early in fall, before flu season begins. CDC recommends that people get a flu vaccine by the end of October. Getting vaccinated later, however, can still be beneficial and vaccination should continue to be offered throughout the flu season, even into January or later.

Children who need two doses of vaccine to be protected should start the vaccination process sooner, because the two doses must be given at least four weeks apart.

Flu vaccines are offered in many doctor’s offices, clinics, health departments, pharmacies and college health centers, as well as by many employers, and even in some schools.

Even if you don’t have a regular doctor or nurse, you can get a flu vaccine somewhere else, like a health department, pharmacy, urgent care clinic, and often your school, college health center, or workplace.

For more information, please contact your local Health Department or go to the Center for Disease Control website.

The Western New York Public Health Alliance (WNYPHA) is a not-for-profit organization comprised of the Health Commissioners/Public Health directors and other community public health leaders from these eight counties of Western New York: Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Erie, Genesee, Niagara, Orleans; and Wyoming.

Their mission is to support collaboration across WNY to further public health initiatives and priorities. As part of this mission, the WNYPHA works to provide health education and information to prevent disease and improve population health.

November 11, 2019 - 11:47am
posted by Billie Owens in sports, harness racing, Batavia Downs.

Photo: Howmac Dancer out in front with driver Denny Bucceri.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

After winning his way up through the non-winner ranks, Howmac Dancer scored a major upset in his first top class $12,500 Open Handicap pace victory at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (11-9). 

There was a mad rush off the gate with Major Authority (Wade Tomaszewski) parking out Mr. Euroman (Billy Davis Jr.) and Tullow N (John Cummings Jr.) two and three deep to the quarter in :27.3. With everyone finally taking a seat, Major Authority kept rolling to the half in :55.3. 

At that point Howmac Dancer (Denny Bucceri) pulled from mid-pack, moved smartly up the backstretch and took command by the three-quarters in 1:25. Rounding the far turn, Howmac Dancer had a gapped advantage but still had to withstand a late rush from Black Is Back (Dave McNeight III) and Race Me Rocky (Shawn McDonough) which he did to win by three-quarters of a length in 1:55.1. 

It was the fifth win in seven Batavia starts and seventh win of the season for Howmac Dancer ($42) who is owned by Burke Racing and Weaver Bruscemi and trained by Jim Clouser Jr. 

The $11,000 Open II Handicap pace went to Cultural Paradise (Renaldo Morales III) who led every step of the way en route to his third win in his last four starts and fourth win of the season, timed in 1:56.3. Don Rothfuss trains for owner Howard Ouriel.

The biggest win mutuel of the year was paid out on Saturday after 74-1 shot Raylan Givens (Billy Davis Jr.) rallied late in the fourth race to win by a neck in 1:56.2. The Brittney Ohol owned and trained gelding returned $151 for the win and sparked a $946.00 exacta (7-3), $1,447 trifecta (7-3-1) and $5,175 superfecta (7-3-1-8). 

Drew Monti and Denny Bucceri led all drivers on Saturday with three wins while trainers Don Rothfuss and Mike Ohol won two races apiece.

There was no winner in the Pick-5 wager again on Saturday and as a result there is a $2,343 carry-over and Batavia Downs will be offering a guaranteed pool of $6,000 for the pick-5 wager on Wednesday (Nov. 13) when live racing resumes at 5 p.m.

The pool will be part of the United States Trotting Association’s (USTA) Strategic Wagering Program and as such, there will be free program page available on the USTA’s website starting on Sunday morning.

November 11, 2019 - 9:44am
posted by Mike Pettinella in sports, Bowling.

Talk about making up for lost time!

Out of action since the beginning of the season due to a partial left knee replacement, Medina's Jim Foss erupted for an 823 series on Sunday (Nov. 10) in the Sunday Rolloffs League at Medina Lanes.

The 57-year-old right-hander and 2019 inductee into the Genesee Region USBC Hall of Fame posted games of 258-267-298 while substituting in the singles league. It was just his fourth league series as he is coming back from the April 30 surgery.

Bowling on three different pairs per the league format, Foss, co-manager at Medina Lanes, started with at least six strikes in all three games, stretching the string to 11 in the last game before leaving the 4-8 on his last ball.

Still, the 823 is his high series, eclipsing his previous best of 815.

Elsewhere around the Genesee Region, Matt Balduf stayed hot in the Toyota of Batavia Thursday night league at Mancuso Bowling Center in Batavia with a 299 game and 766. The previous week. Baluf recorded a 300 game and 768 series.

At Oak Orchard Bowl in Albion, Reid Cole rolled a 299 game and Robbie Hanks registered a 763 series to lead the way.

For more high scores from the past week, click on the Pin Points tab at the top of this page.

November 11, 2019 - 8:00am

Genesee Valley Wind Ensemble will hold its Fall Concert at 4 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 24, at the Pembroke High School. It is located at 8750 Alleghany Road, Pembroke.

The purpose of the GVWE is to serve and to provide the Greater Genesee Valley audience with new and familiar live music, to serve its membership with the opportunity to perform challenging wind ensemble literature and to create the opportunity for the conductor and musicians to grow their collective musical talents.

Admission: $10 -- Adults; $8 -- Senior (55+) & Veteran; $5 -- Student (with ID); Free -- Children 5 years old & under; $25 -- Family Deal for immediate family and children as defined by mother and/or father and up to four children.

Featured Works

  • "Scootin’ on Hardrock" -- David Holsinger
  • Selections from "The Sound of Music" -- Rodgers & Hammerstein
  • Selections from "American Overture" -- Joseph Willcox Jenkins

Conductor(s): Martin Allen -- Guest Conductor -- Grand Island High School; Philip J. Briatico -- conductor & founder of the GVWE.

[email protected]

www.geneseevalleywindensemble.org

November 11, 2019 - 7:58am
posted by Howard B. Owens in veterans, Veterans Day, news.

Today's Veteran's Day ceremonies:

  • 9 a.m.: Genesee Co. Park (VVA)
  • 10 a.m.: Batavia VAMC
  • 10:15 a.m.: NYS Vets’ Home
  • 11 a.m.: Upton Monument
  • 11:30 a.m.: Jerome Center (UMMC) Monument

Organizations participating:

  • Veterans of Foreign Wars of Genesee County
  • Genesee County American Legion
  • Disabled American Veterans – Chapter #166
  • Marine Corps League – Hansen Brothers Detachment
  • Vietnam Veterans of America – Chapter #193
November 11, 2019 - 7:53am
posted by Howard B. Owens in gas prices, news.

Press release:

Today’s national average price for a gallon of gasoline is $2.62, up 1 cent since last week. One year ago, the price was $2.70. The New York State average is $2.70 – up 1 cent from last week. A year ago, the NYS average was $2.91. AAA Western and Central New York (AAA WCNY) reports the following averages:

  • Batavia -- $2.65 (down 1 cent since last week)
  • Buffalo -- $2.64 (down 1 cent since last week)
  • Ithaca -- $2.67 (no change since last week)
  • Rochester -- $2.67 (no change since last week)
  • Rome -- $2.64 (down 3 cents since last week)
  • Syracuse -- $2.59 (down 1 cent since last week)
  • Watertown -- $2.65 (down 1 cent since last week)

The latest data from the Energy Information Administration (EIA) reveals that total domestic stocks of gasoline decreased for the sixth consecutive week pushing stocks 10.8 million barrels lower than last year’s level at this time.

Reduced stock levels, amid robust demand, have helped to push the national gas price average higher. Although demand took a significant step back week over week, it remains higher than last year’s rate in early November. The national average could increase further if demand continues to remain robust as stocks decline.

November 10, 2019 - 9:31pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Amada Tool, batavia, GCEDC, business.
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Press release:

Amada Tool America celebrated the completion of a 19,000 square-foot addition to its existing Batavia-based facility. Leadership from Amada North America and Amada Tool America convened with local leaders at the facility to hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

“Amada Tool America has been manufacturing punch press tooling for 54 years," said Edward Dries, chief operating officer of Amada Tool America. "Today we are starting a new chapter with an expansion into the manufacturing of press brake tooling.

“This expansion will supply tooling for the new press brake machines being built in Amada’s brand-new facility in North Carolina. To meet this need, Amada Tool America’s employee number will be increasing to 87 employees, bringing 17 new jobs to this facility. We are proud to be a part of the Amada team.”

Amada is a leading international tool manufacturer and boasts 8,000 employees worldwide. Its Genesee County location first opened its doors in 1965 and specializes in precision sheet metal tooling.

The project featured $8.8 million in capital investment, which includes $6.5 million of new equipment and supports Amada’s growth to 80 workers in Genesee County.

The expansion was supported by Empire State Development’s Excelsior Jobs Tax Credit and the Genesee County Economic Development Center (GCEDC) incentives.

“Amada has been a staple of Genesee County for more than 50 years and its continued success is what led to this exciting addition to its current facility,” said GCEDC’s Vice President of Workforce Development Chris Suozzi.

“When you consider the sustained success and investment into our community, Amada is the blueprint for the kind of companies that we are looking to attract and grow in Genesee County.”

Amada has been at the forefront of local workforce development efforts, engaging with students from the Genesee Valley Educational Partnership, participating in the inaugural GLOW With Your Hands hands-on careers festival, and will soon debut a series of career profiles on the EdgeFactor.com career exposure platform.

November 10, 2019 - 3:18pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in NY-27, Nate McMurray, news.

Press release:

Nate McMurray, running in the Special Election in NY-27, has been endorsed by Genesee County Democratic Chair Michael Plitt. He has also been endorsed by the Democratic chairs of Niagara, Wyoming, and Monroe counties.

"Genesee County Democrats are excited to help Nate McMurray finish the job he started last year," Plitt said. "Our volunteers worked tirelessly and will do so again because they believe in Nate and his message.

"Voters in Batavia crossed party lines for him and the city went blue for the first time in years. We believe our government should work for all people, not just the elite; and we are confident Nate will be the representative we all deserve."

“I am proud to have the support of Michael Plitt and the Genesee County Democrats as I run for Congress," McMurray said. "Across Genesee, and across Western New York as a whole, families are struggling to make ends meet and our lack of representation in Washington is not helping. I will fight for the healthcare access and jobs our region needs."

November 10, 2019 - 2:38pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in genesee county, taxes, news.

Genesee County is outperforming many other municipalities in New York when it comes to getting the highest possible return on tax dollars, a financial consultant told members of the Legislature this week. 

Over the past year, the county has earned almost $1.6 million by adroitly managing cash flows and placing cash reserves in investments with the best returns while minimizing risk and complying with state regulations.

With a $32 million tax levy, that return is about 4.77 percent, which means lawmakers can keep the property tax rate lower. If they wanted to generate an additional $1.6 million in property tax revenue, they couldn't do that without violating the state's tax cap.

The reason: "The county treasurer is willing to step out of the box and do whatever it takes to help the taxpayers," said Garrett Macdonald, a Genesee County resident who is vice president of Three+1, a financial consulting firm based in Pittsford.

Also, Macdonald said the county is "looking at data more intuitively and making sure that we're really looking under every stone to earn more. A lot of times (with) public entities, it's not the first priority to earn more on taxpayer dollars.

"The first priority is to make sure it's safe, to make sure that it's in deposit, that the money gets somewhere that it's recorded. And then budgeting is important. Treasury always is kind of a second priority.

"But in Genesee County's case, they're able to accomplish all the above. So looking at data, working with their banks, really putting treasury and earnings at the top of the priority list, along with safety, legality, liquidity."

Because there is money coming in before it's needed for public services, and because the county is required to maintain a cash reserve, there is always cash on hand.

What a government agency can do with it is regulated by the state, and among the things the county can do is buy treasury bills -- place it in money market accounts or certificate of account registries, or other safe and liquid investment vehicles. There are about seven options in total.

Treasurer Scott German spends time every week looking at the data and working with Macdonald on what the county's portfolio should look like based on market conditions and cash flow needs. 

"I want to get the biggest return I can for the taxpayer," German said. "Therefore, using his information that he is able to provide, his negotiations with other banks, we are able to maximize the returns for the taxpayers.

"I mean, you compare me to probably any other county in the State of New York, I'm probably doing probably double or triple in interest rates, percentage-wise."

Macdonald said the county's return is well above the 1.5-percent benchmark local agencies should try to achieve, and that most municipalities struggle to get a 1-percent return.

There's one government agency, he said, that has a tax levy $26 million higher than Genesee County's and is generating $600,000 in investment income, less than half of what Genesee County is generating. And that's the next largest total dollar return in the comparison group.

"The biggest point that I will hone in on again and just reiterate: our goal is to maximize the value that the public creates through tax dollars," Macdonald said. "If we can do that through generating new revenues, that doesn't include increasing taxes, that's a big win."

Among economists, there has been a lot of talk about the inverted yield curve (a graph tracking returns on long-term and short-term bonds; when the economic outlook is good, long-term rates are higher than short-term rates; when the curve inverts, it's a sign investors have lost confidence in long-term returns). The curve inverted last quarter, which is a possible sign of a coming recession.

Macdonald believes the bond markets are correcting and he doesn't see a recession on the two-year horizon (in the past, when the yield curve has inverted, there has been a recession within 18 months). That said, if there is a recession in the next year, because of the money management practices of German, Genesee County's funds should be protected.  

Financial markets are always cyclical, Macdonald noted, which is why it's important to stay on top of what is going on every week.

"If we have a recession in two years, I think the impact is yet to be known because we don't have money invested for two years," Macdonald said. "The longest we have money invested for the county's about one year.

"But when I can tell you is, looking into 2020, even though rates have gone down three times -- once in July, once in September and then once in October -- it's because we've been proactive and because Scott's been proactive at investing early before those decreases.

"We're still going to beat benchmarks going into 2020. So, where most counties are being reactive, Genesee County is proactive."

November 10, 2019 - 12:20pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in weather, news.

Get ready, here it comes, maybe, the first significant snowfall of the season.

The National Weather Service has issued a winter storm watch for Monday morning through late Monday night.

Snow accumulations of 6 to 10 inches are possible.

The worst travel conditions, the period of the heaviest snowfall, is expected from late Monday afternoon through Monday night.

November 10, 2019 - 10:22am
posted by Billie Owens in accident, news, Stafford.

A motor-vehicle accident with injuries is reported at Clinton Street Road (Route 33) and Griswold Road in Stafford. Stafford Fire Department, Mercy medics and law enforcement are responding.

UPDATE 10:31 a.m.: The law enforcement officer on scene reports Griswold Road is blocked.

UPDATE 11:01 a.m.: This was a minor-injury accident involving two vehicles, both requiring tows. A 55-year-old male with no complaints of pain is being taken to UMMC for evaluation. Only law enforcement remains at the scene.

November 10, 2019 - 12:51am
posted by Howard B. Owens in sports, Le Roy, football.

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The Oatkan Knights went into their Class C sectional title matchup with Letchworth/Warsaw ranked #1 and on the hunt for a record-setting 16th title in program history.

They had beat L/W earlier this year but as the saying goes, it's hard to beat the same team twice in a season.

L/W grabbed the title with a 26-6 win.

Andrew Englerth (top photo) carried the ball 23 times for 114 yards and scored Le Roy's lone touchdown. Kyler LaCarte rushed for 109 yards on 24 carries.

Photos by Jim Burns. The Batavian's sideline coverage authorized by Section V Athletics.

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November 10, 2019 - 12:37am
posted by Howard B. Owens in football, 8-man football, oakfield-alabama, elba, Section V.
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The Oakfield-Alabama/Elba Aggies racked up 514 yards on their way to a 55-0 victory at Van Detta Stadium in the eight-man football Section V semifinal game against Frewsburg.

OA/Elba plays Mercy Grove at Van Detta at 1:30 p.m. next Saturday (Nov. 16) for the sectional championship.

QB Colton Dillon ran for 193 yards and scored three touchdowns. Ty Mott ran for 155 yards and scored two touchdowns and a two-point conversion.

Ty Kornow scored on a 59-yard run and Gaige Armbrewster scored on a 30-yard run. Nick Munger had a TD reception.

Peyton Yasses was involved in 18 tackles, Jayden Hughes and Dylan Rykert, 14 each, Alex Hoy, 13. Rykert had four sacks, CJ Gottler, three, and Yasses, Hughes, Dillon had one apiece. Joey Burdick had two interceptions.

The Batavian's sideline coverage is authorized by Section V Athletics.

Photos below by Kristin Smith. More photos available here and here.

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November 9, 2019 - 7:40pm
posted by Howard B. Owens in Alexander, Notre Dame, video, football.
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In a rare match between local teams for a Section V championship, Notre Dame and Alexander clashed in Brockport on Friday night with the Fighting Irish holding on for a 14-7 victory to become the new Class D champions.

The Trojans were trying to defend their 2018 crown.

Jed Reese was named the game's MVP after gaining 57 yards on the ground and scoring a rushing TD in addition to returning a flubbed punt for a touchdown.

Irish QB Gabe Macdonald rushed for 108 yards.

On defense, Chad Henry had 12 tackles, Anthony Zambito, eight, plus two pass deflections, Dakota Sica had nine tackles and a sack.

The game was a defensive battle with Alexander holding ND to 197 total yards and the Irish throttling the Trojans at 189 yards.

For Alexander, Ty Woods carried the ball 24 times for 104 yards and completed 2-4 passes, including TD pass to Kam Lyons, who had six catches for 65 yards. Dylan Busch was 8-15 passing for 55 yards.

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November 9, 2019 - 8:54am
posted by James Burns in sports, Section V, Le Roy, byron, bergen, Girls volleyball.

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Top seed Byron–Bergen Bees faced the number two Le Roy Knights in Section V Class C Girls Volleyball Championship in Avon Friday night.

In the first match, Le Roy seemed to dominate and was threatening to upset the perennial favorite Bees. As the match ended, with the teams swapping the lead with every position, the Bees came out on top.  

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In the second match, the Bees controlled the Knights and led the entire match for a Bees' win.

In the third march, the Knights rallied back and won. 

The fourth Match was all Bees. They went to work and easily finished off the Knights to win the series. 

Byron–Bergen won 3 to1 for the sectional championship.  

Congratulations to both teams for terrific winning seasons. 

The Batavian's coverage of sectional play is authorized by Section V Athletics. 

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November 9, 2019 - 12:17am
posted by Billie Owens in harness racing, Batavia Downs, sports.

Photo of Wheels A Turning leading with driver Denny Bucceri.

By Tim Bojarski, for Batavia Downs

A class drop spelled victory for Wheels A Turning who moved down from Open I company on Friday night (Nov. 8) to win the $11,000 Open II trotting feature at Batavia Downs.

Getting away fourth, Wheels A Turning (Denny Bucceri) watched in wait while the only other mare in the race, CR Blazin Beauty (John Cummings Jr.), grabbed the lead and set the tone. They went to the half in :58 flat before Bucceri pulled Wheels A Turning first-over and started to march for the front. 

CR Blazing Beauty maintained command of her lead but Wheels A Turning was trotting alongside within a length at the three-quarters, around the turn and into the stretch. As they moved down the lane the two trotted stride for stride to the wire until Wheels A Turning gained a slight advantage and won by a neck in 1:57.3.

It was the ninth win of the year for Wheels A Turning ($6.10) who has now earned $79,310 in purses in 2019. Allan Schmucker Jr. owns the 5-year-old daughter of Mr. Cantab-Free Wheeling that is trained by Sabrina Shaw. 

The Downs leading driver, Billy Davis Jr., Shawn McDonough and Renaldo Morales III all had three winners during the evening on Friday. That pushed Davis’s win total for the meet to 103 wins ,which is a commanding 24 tallies ahead of Jim Morrill Jr. who sits in second place. Patrick Shepherd led all trainers with two wins on Friday, putting him at 25 wins and catapulting him into third place behind the leading Jim Clouser Jr. (42) and Maria Rice (33), who each scored one win on Friday.   

Racing resumes at Batavia Downs on Saturday night (Nov. 9) with post time at 6 o'clock.

November 8, 2019 - 11:32pm
posted by Billie Owens in batavia, accident, news.
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A possible serious injury accident involving two-vehicles is reported in the city at 123 S. Swan St. Police, fire and Mercy medics are responding.

UPDATE 11:34 p.m.: A code enforcement officer is called to the scene.

UPDATE 11:44 p.m.: Two sedans collided in front of the Polish Falcons of America Nest in Batavia, which caused one vehicle to slam into the front porch at 129 S. Swan.

UPDATE 11:47 p.m.: Both drivers, the sole occupants, were able to self extricate from their vehicles and neither sustained serious injuries.

UPDATE 11:51 p.m.: It appears one driver will be a sign-off and the other will be transported to UMMC for evaluation.

UPDATE 11:59 p.m.: One vehicle was northbound on South Swan Street; the other was southbound. The investigation continues to determine if one of the cars was making a turn into the parking lot when the collision occurred.

UPDATE 12:08 a.m.: City firefighters are expected to be on the scene for awhile because they have to deploy air bags under the damaged porch in order to remove the vehicle so it can be towed. They will then have to put wood supports in place to temporarily prop up the porch.

November 8, 2019 - 7:24pm

Press release:

New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez today announced that major construction is complete on a $1.6 million project to replace elements of the bridge carrying U.S. Route 20 over Oatka Creek in the Town of Pavilion, Genesee County.

The bridge, which reopened to traffic today, will be more resilient and capable of withstanding potential damage from flooding or stream debris during inclement weather.

“By making existing infrastructure more resilient to wearing and weather impacts, we are investing in the future of our transportation system,” Commissioner Dominguez said. “The renovations, which DOT incorporated as part of this project provide safe access for users and will greatly benefit Genesee County residents and travelers as part of the Finger Lakes Forward initiative.”

As part of this project, the existing steel truss was replaced with a modern steel multi-girder superstructure that includes a concrete deck. To accommodate all users of the roadway, 12-foot-wide travel lanes and seven-foot-wide shoulders were included in the striping pattern of the bridge to facilitate bicycle and pedestrian traffic.

Multi-girder type bridges have more redundant elements than truss bridges, making them more resilient. Rip rap shoring up the base provides additional strength to the bridge, preventing erosion, and the inclusion of joint-less approaches to the bridge will help reduce corrosion.

Senator Michael H. Ranzenhofer said “I am glad that the construction on Route 20 bridge over Oatka Creek is complete. The safety of our roads and bridges is one of my top priorities. With winter fast approaching this construction completion was crucial.”

Assemblyman Steve Hawley said “The Route 20 Bridge over Oatka Creek has been subject to flood waters and damage for some time, and I am pleased to see that repairs have been made and travelers may now cross the bridge with ease and confidence. Safe and reliable infrastructure is paramount for our business owners, local residents and emergency service vehicles, and I will continue to advocate for Western New York’s bridge road and highway needs moving forward.”

During the bridge closure, which began in July, motorists were detoured using nearby state routes 19 and 63. While the bridge is now open to vehicular traffic, there is anticipated cleanup work and shoulder work remaining.

For real-time travel information, motorists should call 511, visit www.511NY.org or download the free 511NY app.

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