December 1, 2021

Input on bridge sought

Tompkins County wants to replace Etna Lane span in Dryden

Todd R. McAdam/managing editor

Two vehicles pass each other at a bridge over Fall Creek on Etna Lane in Dryden.

DRYDEN — The Tompkins County Highway Department is looking to replace the 60-year-old Etna Lane bridge over Fall Creek, so if you have an opinion about it, now is the time to be heard.

The Tompkins County Highway Department is expecting preliminary work to start later this year and finishing up in 2021. Total cost: $2.04 million, with $1.93 million covered by federal money distributed through the Bridge NY program and the rest paid by the county, said Jeffery Smith, Tompkins County highway director.

The comment period is open through May 22.

To learn or comment

  • For more information on the Etna Lane bridge over Fall Creek, go to ybvvoxo7.
  • To offer comments on the bridge, go to

“Unless you do the outreach, you don’t know what those concerns might be,” Smith said.

The aim is to hear what Dryden residents would like to see in the new bridge, especially new ideas that aren’t included in the initial plans, he said.

“Sometimes people want other things that they want to incorporate into the project,” Smith said. “We want to hear all these wishes and concerns.”

And now is the time to express them, he said, not months from now after the engineers have already gone to work on the plans.

“If anybody has any concerns we’d like to hear them now,” he said.

The two-lane, 116-foot bridge on Etna Lane over Fall Creek was built in 1960, according to a brochure produced by Tompkins County. The bridge, with an open steel grate deck, is 24 feet wide and supported by concrete abutments. It is rated for 15 tons.

But state information shows the bridge has deteriorating concrete, stringer and floor beams, as well as bent anchor bolts.

Smith said the county highway department seeks to build a bridge that complies with state and federal regulations and will last for the next 75 years.

The work would begin in the early summer of 2021 and would last about four months, the DOT projects.

The intersection of Etna Lane, Upper Creek Road and Lower Creek Road would be closed for the duration.