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NY Route 7 over CP Railroad,
Bridge Replacement

Creators: Kathryn Mangan, Project Manager and Marcy Shaul, Visualization Section Supervisor

Creator Affiliation: New York State Department of Transportation

Brief Description: The New York State DOT is working on designing a new bridge for the at NY route (SR) 7 over the CP Railroad in the western end of the Village of Cobleskill, Schoharie County. The design of the new bridge addresses safety and drainage as well as enhancement to pedestrian and bicyclist accommodations. Visualization techniques were used at a public meeting to help citizens better understand the project.

Extended Description: In January 2004 NYS DOT gained approval for their Initial Project Proposal (IPP) to replace the bridge at NY Route (SR) 7 over the CP Railroad in the Village of Cobleskill. The 1931 existing bridge structure carried Route 7 originally over four railroad tracks. Currently it spans only one active track. The bridge is not eligible for Historical Register and is most cost effective to replace. The site is located adjacent to SUNY Cobleskill, a residential apartment building and a small commercial building.

Two sessions of public information meeting was held on October 10, 2007 at the Cobleskill Youth Center. The first session was for local officials, business owners and SUNY Cobleskill representatives. The second session was held for the general public. Concerns identified at this time included, traffic management, construction time, pedestrian accommodations, sidewalk maintenance responsibilities and property acquisitions. These comments were taken into consideration during the next phase of the project.

On August 13, 2009 NYS DOT held an informal public information meeting. This meeting was attended by the general public and local politicians. The meeting was held in a open house forum. Presentation boards with existing and proposed conditions flanked either side of the middle school gym. In the center of the room a projector was set up to display the 3-D animation of the project. The animation showed existing conditions transform into the proposed project and incorporated real time pedestrians and automobile traffic. The presentation boards were used side by side to see existing conditions to proposed conditions. Members of the NY DOT, identified by name tags, were present to discuss the project. They chose this type of forum because of previous success. Their goal is to have open discussions with the public without them feeling any anxiety about voicing their opinions in front of a large audience. Pamphlets were also given out and included a Public Comment Form for any written comments that could be submitted at the time of the meeting or mailed in to the DOT.

All 3-D visualization work was done in house by the Visualization Section of the New York State DOT. Microstation, Photoshop and Premier Pro were used to create the renderings and animations. The presentation boards also included 2-D aerial maps with the new project superimposed over the existing conditions. This aided the public in orienting themselves to the location of the project.

Time Frame: 3 years from preliminary design phase to completion of construction.

Methods Used:

  • 3-D Animation

  • 3-D Renderings

  • 2-D Aerial Maps with Proposed Vector Drawings Superimposed

Tools Used:

  • Microstation

  • Photoshop

  • Premier Pro

Results: The open house forum for public outreach was successful in creating a comfortable setting for casual discussion of the project. Visualizations were useful in aiding this discussion. Questions and comments were discussed around visualization images and used as reference for explanations by the NYS DOT personnel.

Who to contact now: Kathryn Mangan, Project Manager

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