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Serving the communities of Massena and Potsdam, New York
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Massena’s Route 420 closed again

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MASSENA - Route 420 is once again closed to traffic this afternoon.

New York State Department of Transportation spokesman Michael Flick said today’s closure would take place sometime between 12 and 2:30 p.m. At 2 p.m., DOT staff were seen rerouting traffic at Main and Hatfield Streets because of the upgrades taking place at the CSX rail crossing down the road.

At Tuesday’s village Board of Trustees meeting, officials complained that the closure of Route 420 late Tuesday was unexpected, snarled traffic and compromised fire protection on the south side of the Raquette River. Fire department officials said they had been prepared for a brief closure at midday Tuesday, but were caught off guard by the late afternoon rerouting of one of Massena’s busiest streets and the village’s only bridge over the Raquette River.

Mr. Flick said the late afternoon closure yesterday was a last-minute change.

“The closure deviated from the agreed upon plan ... from what I understand, when the rail crews arrived to do the work yesterday, they felt that it couldn’t be done as was planned and that it was necessary to close the area,” Mr. Flick said in an email.

“We (DOT) then scrambled to accommodate and have done our best to make adjustments and to make notifications on such short notice. I have spoken a number of times with one of the local school transportation directors ... and the DOT foreman there has spent more than a little while reaching out to the other local schools and everyone he could to let them know there was a change, and that effort continues.”

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