Fonda bridge removal begins, to end by July

FONDA-After months of delay, the demolition of the old Route 30A bridge over the CSX railroad tracks has begun.

According to state Department of Transportation Region 2 spokesman Jim Piccola, demolition of the bridge began earlier this week after weeks of preparation.

Currently, crews are slowly removing the bridge. A special platform has been raised beneath the bridge to capture any falling debris to prevent damage to the train tracks, owned by CSX Railways. Piccola said a major concern of CSX and AECOM was falling debris.

AECOM, an industrial company representing CSX for the demolition, accepted plans for the demolition in January.

This was the fifth plan sent to AECOM by Tioga Construction, the company that built the new bridge next to the old one and is contracted to demolish the old bridge, Piccola said.

The previous plans were not agreed to by AECOM.

“As Tioga submitted their demolition plans, different things popped up and questions were asked,” Piccola said in January.

Flaggers will warn trains about the demolition during the project.

The removal of the concrete deck and steel parts may take four to six weeks, Piccola said in January. The process would begin with the removal of the load deck, followed by girders and concrete abutments.

“A lot of the demo can be done now, but there is stuff like embankment that would need to be done,” Piccola said.

After the demolition of the bridge, some small work would need to be done to the embankment, such as filling in gaps, as well as signal work, Piccola said. According to him, they would need to wait until late April for the soil to thaw.

The project is expected to be complete by July at the latest, though Piccola said he hopes it will be done before that.

“We are moving right along,” Piccola said.

The majority of the work on the new bridge was completed in the fall.

Demolition of the old bridge will end the $5.3 million project, which began in 2011.

Workers have a few final tasks to finish on the new bridge.

During the summer, while construction was ongoing, the main road through Fonda often had traffic jams. Some residents reported in July having to wait 20 minutes or more to make a trip through the village.

Arthur Cleveland is the Montgomery County reporter. He can be reached at