Press-Republican

Local News

December 30, 2013

NYSDOT readies for Whiteface Highway restoration

WILMINGTON — Restoration plans for the Whiteface Veteran’s Memorial Highway is moving forward rapidly.

The State Department of Transportation aims to have project design done by mid January.

“We’ll have a contractors’ meeting before we go out to bid,” DOT spokesman Bryan Viggiani told the Press-Republican.

“We plan to have bid material out by Feb. 1 and to open the bids by early March. We are looking to award the contract by early April.”

Shovels will go into the ground when it thaws.

“We have a goal to have the contractor begin work on April 15,” he said.

HAND-LAID WALL

Even if there is snow on top, as there often is on Whiteface in mid April, contractors could begin staging the job site, ordering equipment and materials, bringing in machinery and setting up an office.

“The road project presents some unique challenges. There’s not a lot of room for maneuverability,” Viggiani said.

DOT counted and checked each of 2,000 quarry stones along the 8-mile highway, each cut by hand and stood on end as barrier protection.

Some have tilted or tipped over and will be reset upright.

The hand-laid wall will also be repaired and repointed and the weep-holes for drainage cleared.

Asked if masons can still do the kind of artisan work needed to repair an essentially antique stone wall, Viggiani said DOT believes they can.

“We will bring some new technology, respecting old engineering,” he said.

Road restoration will use $10 million of the $12 million in NYWorks funding announced for Memorial Highway infrastructure by Gov. Andrew Cuomo last month.

COMPLETE REPLACEMENT

Cuomo’s push to repair, restore and reclaim the historic highway drew a standing ovation from a standing-room-only crowd when he launched the project in Lake Placid.

The additional $2 million will be used for repairs to the Castle visitor’s center on top.

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