Johnson City Square Deal Arch is Gone - But It Will Be Back (2024)

For the first time in over a century, people driving on Main Street between Johnson City and Binghamton are not passing under the Square Deal Arch.

The stones and steel that were part of the structure erected in 1920 have been removed and the roadway has reopened after being closed for more than two months.

A view of the bases of the Square Deal Arch looking west into Johnson City. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)

The long-awaited renovation and repair project is on hold as village officials consider options after it became clear the arch's condition was worse than had been thought.

Mayor Martin Meaney said the entire arch - except for the bases on either side of Main Street - now has been completely removed.

A view of Main Street in Binghamton near the Workers Arch rehabilitation project on April 11, 2024. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)

A detour that had been in place around the site has been removed and traffic is again moving normally between Johnson City and Binghamton.

Meaney told WNBF News that "more problems developed" as workers were able to inspect the interior of the arch.

Welcoming signs for Johnson City and Binghamton at the site of the Square Deal Arch on June 25, 2024. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)

The mayor said village officials hope to meet with representatives of the New York State Historic Preservation Office soon to discuss restoration options.

Meaney said there are a few alternatives that may be considered for the eventual redesign of the arch.

The E-J Workers' Arch on Main Street at the Johnson City-Binghamton line on December 16, 2022. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)

The mayor said the concrete blocks "outlived their useful life." He said 70 blocks were taken down to be restored.

Meaney said "we're very fortunate that we didn't have any stones come down over the last couple of years." He said "we avoided catastrophe because the arch was in really bad shape."

During an interview on WNBF'sBinghamton Nowprogram, the mayor vowed that "the arch will be back" despite the additional repair challenges.

Workers at the Arch on May 28, 2024. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)

Meaney said "it's a massive piece of our heritage. It's part of who we are and we are not going to just take it down and not put it back up."

But it won't be coming back this year as had been initially planned. The mayor said "our best hope" is that the restoration project can be completed by the end of next year's construction season.

The cornerstone on the east side of the Johnson City Square Deal Arch on January 11, 2024. (Photo: Bob Joseph/WNBF News)

The ultimate cost of the work remains to be seen. The village hired Lupini Construction of Utica to handle the original project for $462,000.

Johnson City lawmakers authorized spending another $82,000 for an engineering report to determine what additional steps should be considered.

The Greater Binghamton Fund had approved money for the planned restoration project.

WNBF NEWS VIDEO: Bob Joseph reports from Johnson City and Binghamton on June 25, 2024.

Johnson City Square Deal Arch is Gone - But It Will Be Back (1)

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Johnson City Square Deal Arch is Gone - But It Will Be Back (2024)
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