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May 8, 2014

Your Town: Bellmont bridge shored up for now

BRAINARDSVILLE — After repeated washouts, the Bryant Siding Road bridge here will be replaced.

The Bellmont Town Council discussed its reconstruction with contractor Jon Hutchins at a recent meeting. 

Days of hard rain washed out the bridge in 1998, but repair was made quickly. 

Heavy rains last fall also compromised the span, and it happened again this past March, according to meeting minutes. 

“There are about eight families living on that road, but none with school-age children that have to take the bus,” said Town Supervisor Bruce Russell. 

“We have an arrangement with a logging company to use their road as an egress in case of an emergency, like the bridge being washed out. 

“Those families had to use that auxiliary road for three days before we made temporary repairs.” 

SHARED EFFORT

With direction from the State Department of Environmental Conservation and the Adirondack Park Agency, the bridge was braced up and is presently usable. 

It will eventually be replaced with a more permanent structure that can handle the sudden flow of water emitted during heavy rainstorms and melting snow from the Ragged Lake outlet, which is fairly calm most of the year, the minutes said.

Russell praised the cooperation between the town’s and county’s highway departments, saying that Gov. Andrew Cuomo wants to see more shared services to cut costs but in the North Country that has been happening for a long time.

“I can’t say enough good about the Franklin County Highway Department,” he said. “They brought up an excavator and all the equipment to get that bridge back in there quickly. 

“It was a great effort by all.”

The supervisor noted the bridge in its present condition is usable, “but I’m not sure about winter snowplowing and spring water flow. It’s something we have to do (permanent replacement), not when or if, but how.”

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