A demolition team is poised to remove a dilapidated pedestrian walkway crossing Interstate 81 just north of Binghamton.

The bridge near Otsiningo Park in the town of Dickinson was shut down in January shortly after a new paved path was opened as part of a Front Street construction project.

The narrow span was used by Sunrise Terrace residents to walk or bike to the park or to get to neighborhoods on Binghamton's North Side. The walkway, which cost $312,000 to construct, opened in 1968.

A view of the closed pedestrian bridge over Interstate 81 on October 24, 2023. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
A view of the closed pedestrian bridge over Interstate 81 on October 24, 2023. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
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Cold Spring Construction Company of western New York is being paid $534,000 for the bridge demolition project.

Some preliminary work has started with the removal of fencing off Old Front Street.

Most elements of the job will be done at night. According to the state Department of Transportation, there will be occasional traffic slowdowns on Interstate 81 in the work zone near the bridge. Single-lane closures will occur at times.

Dickinson town supervisor Michael Marinaccio has said people who live nearby can expect to hear some noise related to the nighttime demolition work.

The town of Dickinson pedestrian bridge on September 25, 2013. Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News (file)
FLASHBACK: The town of Dickinson pedestrian bridge on September 25, 2013. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
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Although the bridge over I-81 was intended for pedestrian use only, there have been reports over the years that some people drove vehicles across the span.

One man who said he was a Chenango Forks resident recently recounted such an adventure on WNBF's Binghamton Now program.

The caller said it was "a red Volkswagen convertible." He said his friend wanted to drive across the pedestrian walkway "because he was kinda crazy."

A weight limit sign posted at the I-81 pedestrian bridge on October 24, 2023. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
A weight limit sign posted at the I-81 pedestrian bridge on October 24, 2023. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)
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Contact WNBF News reporter Bob Joseph: bob@wnbf.com. For breaking news and updates on developing stories, follow @BinghamtonNow on Twitter.

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