Old bridge being demolished

EDINBURG – Demolition of the old Batchellerville Bridge is ongoing, according to representatives from the state Department of Transportation.

Harrison & Burrowes Bridge Constructors’ workers battled tropical storms and flooding in 2011 to get the new bridge built. With the new $46.7 million bridge completed, all that remains is fully demolishing the old bridge.

According to Carol Breen, spokeswoman for the state Department of Transportation, demolition of the bridge began earlier in the spring.

NYSDOT spokesman Bryan Viggiani said the demolition of the old bridge is continuing, with the contract with Harrison & Burrowes expected to end this year.

Viggiani said the bulk of the work will be completed by the end of the summer. Explosives will be placed on the piers of the old bridge around mid- to late-July, with a slight delay to traffic during the blasting.

All the concrete deck slabs are gone, Viggiani said recently, along with 1/6 of the steel structure.

Jeff DiStefano, Harrison & Burrowes co-owner, said some portions of the bridge’s removal were simple

“The deck slab removal [was simple] because the tech was replaced back in the 1980’s,” DiStefano said.

According to DiStefano, the bridge used concrete road slabs rather than poured concrete, which let the deck be removed in sections.

DiStefano said the bridge will be cut apart with torches before pieces are removed with a large crane.

“[The demolition] should be completed by Sept. 1 and the completion of the total project by Oct. 1,” DiStefano said.

Jean Raymond, supervisor for the town, said the construction has been a boon to the local economy. With construction workers shopping locally, she said, there has been an increase of business to the community.

Raymond said there have been few traffic problems, and people have been coming to see the demolition of the bridge as a “Final goodbye to the old bridge.”

The new bridge – finished in November – 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 and allows 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 five-foot-wide shoulders and a five-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. Once the construction and demolition contract has been completed, the new bridge will be owned and maintained by Saratoga County.

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

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