Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo has announced that work is underway on $13.8 million highway and bridge work in the North Country.
The largest project is a $7.6 million job to construct a new bridge carrying Nash Blvd. over State Route 26 at Fort Drum in Jefferson County. The bridge will improve safety and reduce congestion on Route 26, while making on-base travel more efficient.
“Fort Drum is an economic anchor for the North Country, and this project will provide a vital infrastructure link for the more than 50,000 New Yorkers who depend on the base and ease congestion in the region,” Cuomo said. “Across New York, we are investing in infrastructure projects to ensure our roads and bridges remain reliable, resilient, and able to meet the demands of current and future generations of New Yorkers.”
The other projects include:
- a $2.4 million project to rehabilitate the Northway (Interstate 87) bridges over the Branch River at Exit 29 in North Hudson, Essex County;
- a $2.7 million project to rehabilitate the bridge carrying State Route 37 over Brandy Brook in Waddington, St. Lawrence County; and
- a $1.1 million project to replace a large culvert carrying US Route 11 over Mill Creek in Watertown, Jefferson County.
The Nash Blvd. bridge project will improve transportation operations on Fort Drum by providing direct access between cantonment areas. This will significantly reduce congestion on State Route 26, providing for safer and more efficient traffic flow. The creation of a two-lane, multi-girder bridge will also allow on-base traffic to pass from one side to the other without having to leave the base and again clear security upon reentering. The Nash Blvd. project is the second of two projects announced by Governor Cuomo in his 2015 State of the State address. The first, a $3 million intersection alignment of State Route 26 on Fort Drum, is scheduled to be completed this spring.
This portion of Route 26 is a common access point for soldiers reporting to Fort Drum for physical training, as well as for commercial deliveries to the facility. Fort Drum, home to the 10th Mountain Division, is the largest employer in the North Country.
The intersection alignment project is reconfiguring the Route 26 intersection with Oneida and Ontario avenues in order to improve safety and reduce congestion. The area contained two intersections, one for traffic entering and one for traffic exiting the base – thus making traffic backups common. The new roadway combines the two intersections into one wider intersection, adding slip ramps and turning lanes to facilitate easier access for drivers.
The project is scheduled for completion in the fall of 2018. The three other projects are all scheduled to be completed by the end of this year.
The $2.4 million project to rehabilitate the Northway bridges over the Branch River at Exit 29 in North Hudson, Essex County will include replacing bridge joints and highway guiderail, repairing concrete and repaving the driving surface.
The bridges were built in 1965 and carry approximately 9,000 motor vehicles daily in both directions.
Site preparation, construction of a silt fence and detour preparations have begun on the $1.1 million project to replace a large culvert carrying US Route 11 over Mill Creek in the town of Watertown, Jefferson County. In order to accommodate school buses, the closure and detour will be instituted after June 25 and Route 11 will reopen to traffic no later than September 1.
St. Lawrence County
The $2.7 million project to rehabilitate the bridge carrying State Route 37 over Brandy Brook in Waddington, St. Lawrence County includes replacing the concrete deck of the existing bridge, repairing steel and rehabilitating the concrete substructures. New bridge rail will be installed. The road approaching the bridge in both directions will be reconstructed and new guide rail will be installed.
The bridge, a main route along the St. Lawrence River and Canadian border, serves nearly 40,000 motorists each day.