JAY — The State Department of Transportation will make a series of bridge replacements in Jay, Keene and North Elba of spans damaged during flooding from Tropical Storms Irene and Lee.
Several bridges in Clinton County will also be replaced with the federal monies.
Essex County Board of Supervisors Chair Randy Douglas (D-Jay) was at the State Capitol when Gov. Andrew Cuomo made the announcement in the Red Room this week. Also present was Vice President Joseph Biden.
“Vice President Biden was in Albany to hear the governor’s overall plan to make the areas flooded by hurricanes Irene, Lee and Sandy much safer in future disasters,” Douglas said by email.
“The governor made the announcement to us and the media amongst other projects throughout the state to improve public infrastructure that is subject to repetitive flooding.”
The bridge replacements are part of the unveiling of “Reimagining New York for a New Reality,” a $17 billion strategy that the governor says will transform the state’s infrastructure, transportation networks, energy supply, coastal protection, weather warning system and emergency management to better protect residents from future extreme weather.
“The new reality in New York is we are getting hit by 100-year storms every couple of years,” Cuomo said in a news release.
“We have to wake up to that new reality by completely reimagining our state to be ready for any future disaster.
“Our plan completely transforms the way we build and protect our infrastructure, safeguard our energy supply, prepare our citizens and first-responders and provide fuel and electricity.”
The state will replace nine bridges on state roads in Essex County and four in Clinton County:
▶ Route 73 over Johns Brook, Keene.
▶ Route 73 over Johns Brook overflow, Keene.
▶ Route 73 over Beede Brook, Keene (St. Hubert’s hamlet).
▶ Route 73 over the East Branch of the Ausable River, Keene (St. Huberts hamlet).
▶ Route 73 over the East Branch of the Ausable River, Keene (Keene Valley hamlet).
▶ Route 73 over Beede Brook, Keene (Keene Valley hamlet).
▶ Route 73 over the West Branch of the Ausable River, North Elba.
▶ Route 73 over Cascade Lake outlet, Keene.
▶ Route 9N over the West Branch of the Ausable River, Jay.
▶ Interstate 87 southbound over Little Ausable River, Peru.
▶ Interstate 87 northbound over Little Ausable River, Peru.
▶ Interstate 87 southbound over Salmon River, Plattsburgh.
▶ Interstate 87 northbound over Salmon River, Plattsburgh.
CONSTRUCTION THIS YEAR
The interstate bridges were all constructed in 1960-61 and are worn out, DOT said.
The agency said many of those using the interstate bridges are going to the Adirondacks, and it’s essential those gateways are in good shape to facilitate tourism.
Although cost of the local segment wasn’t separated out, the state will spend $486 million on 100 at-risk bridges statewide.
All the bridges in Essex County on the list were damaged by flooding in 2011.
The one in Jay’s AuSable Forks hamlet is especially important, Douglas said, because it’s such an old span.
“That’s (replacement) a good thing. The one in AuSable Forks was built in 1931. We are able to build a bigger and stronger public infrastructure because of the funding we have received.”
Work on the bridges is expected to start later this year, the DOT said.
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