CORNING - The Bridge Street Bridge will close to vehicular and pedestrian traffic April 1, as a $6.5 million project to upgrade the heavily used span will begin.

The bridge rehabilitation, which will include steel repairs, replacement of gusset plates, and painting, is expected to be completed Oct. 31, said City Manager Mark Ryckman.

Funding to refurbish the bridge, a vital link between the city’s North and South side which was last upgraded in 1998, will be provided by the New York State Department of Transportation and city funding.

“With the temporary closure of the Bridge Street Bridge, motorists and pedestrians will need to seek other routes,” Ryckman said. “We apologize for the inconvenience, but this work will allow for the continued use of the bridge for years to come.”

Larry Wagner, city Superintendent of Public Works, called the bridge an important part of the city.

“This project will extend its life for continued use,” Wagner said.

Colleen Fabrizi, Gaffer District Executive Director, said Corning’s Gaffer District will be working with local media and social media to help keep the public aware of how important it is to continue to support Northside businesses during the Bridge Street bridge construction project.

“Shopping local is a very effective way to help our local economy be vibrant and keep businesses open and prospering,” Fabrizi said. “Deciding to shop local is greatly appreciated and it truly does make a big difference.”

Ryckman said the city received $4,875,000 from the state department of capital program and $1,663,000 from a state Bridge NY grant to help fund the project. The city will fund $87,000 of the project.