EAST AURORA, NY (WIVB)- “One of the best things to happen on East Fillmore was that bridge closing.”
That’s according to East Aurora resident Jim Vail who says most of the drivers who use the bridge near his home are just using it as a short cut.
“It turned into a spectacular neighborhood as soon as that bridge closed because the cars that routinely go 35, 40 miles per hour up and down that street, stopped. It’s dangerous.”
Other neighbors told News 4 the same thing.
It was last Thursday when the Village of East Aurora put up the signs closing the one lane East Fillmore Avenue bridge of Tannery Brook.
Recent flooding had eroded the old stone work under the bridge, according to East Aurora Mayor Allan Kasprzak. “We found it best that we needed to shut that down because of the problems that could be exacerbated if something should happen there, so the signs have been posted.”
Village officials believe it is the Town of Aurora’s responsibility to fix the bridge itself. Paul Weiss, special counsel to the Village says he notified the Town in writing. “The response was a patented ‘That’s your problem’, I’m paraphrasing but ‘That’s your problem.”
Now it’s a sort of political standoff as Town and Village officials wait for a State Supreme Court judge to hand down a ruling on another nearby bridge which may set the precedent for which municipality is responsible for fixing East Aurora bridges.
East Aurora resident James Collins says “It kind of comes out in hindsight where they don’t take care of the problem, and then there’s the problem and it’s like they want to debate about what is the problem.”
But to neighbor Jim Vail, th solution is simple. “It seems if they’re looking to do what’s best for everybody, why not take the easy route because I don’t think you need a legal ruling to decide, ‘Hey we’re making this a pedestrian bridge.”
A State Supreme Court Judge’s ruling, expected by September 3, will likely set the precedent for who needs to fix East aurora bridges, the Village, or the Town of Aurora.