Bridge project nears end

EDINBURG – Work on the Batchellerville Bridge project is “99.9 percent” complete, according to town Supervisor Jean Raymond.

Raymond said contractors worked last week on staining portions of the bridge, but much of the remaining work is in the surrounding area.

“They have a couple of things that they need to complete at the town park,” she said.

The park was used as a staging ground for construction during the $46.7 million project, Raymond said.

Workers are now replacing fireplaces, bringing in sand and replacing the gate for the park, she said.

Little work remains near the bridge itself, besides landscaping, she said.

Raymond said she was excited to finally see the project complete.

“It means everything,” Raymond said.

Raymond said she has seen many people sightseeing from the bridge, which connects the two halves of the town.

“People are walking on the sidewalk [on the bridge]. It’s really great, amazing,” Raymond said.

The new bridge – opened in November 2012 – was built directly to the south of the former 80-year-old structure. The center span of the bridge has a vertical clearance of 42 feet above the water, which is 27 feet higher than the old structure, allowing more room for recreational vessels on the Great Sacandaga Lake to pass underneath. The height of the new structure accommodates larger sail boats that use the lake.

The new bridge features two 11-foot-wide travel lanes, two 5-foot-wide shoulders and a 5-foot-wide raised sidewalk on the north side of the bridge.

During construction, traffic used the old bridge, which only allowed alternating one-way traffic controlled by a signal and had a 15-ton weight limit.

Demolition of the old bridge began in spring 2013, with pillars demolished with explosives in July 2013.

The project was 80 percent federally funded, with a 20 percent investment coming from the state.

Representatives from the state Department of Transportation were unavailable for comment.