ELIZABETHTOWN — Essex County is getting $6 million in federal aid money for four county bridge projects scheduled to start this year.
One of the main projects is the remote Tahawus Road Bridge in Newcomb, where repairs have been estimated to cost $1.4 million.
Although the span leads to a dead-end road that goes through the ghost town of Adirondac, it serves the Upper Works State Trailhead that’s one of the busiest in the park.
Tahawus Road (County Route 25) connects to Upper Works Road leading to the trailhead, and the bridge spans the Hudson River where that waterway is little more than a stream.
The Upper Works Trailhead to Mount Marcy, Indian Pass and Lake Colden is situated at the end of Upper Works Road, and the large parking lot at the trailhead is often full on summer days.
“I drove out there, and I couldn’t believe the traffic,” Highway Superintendent Anthony LaVigne said. “The Upper Works trailhead is very popular.”
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The Tahawus Road Bridge will remain open during the rehabilitation project, so hikers will still be able to access the Upper Works Trailhead, which was named for the iron smelting that once went on there.
“Tahawus Bridge will be phase construction, one lane at a time, because it is a dead-end road,” LaVigne said.
Essex County’s share of the project is 5 percent, which comes to $177,000, and was recently approved by the County Board of Supervisors. For the rest, the Federal Highway Administration will pitch in 80 percent, and State Department of Transportation will cover 15 percent of the cost.
U.S. Vice President Teddy Roosevelt was staying at the Tahawus Club in 1901 when he had to make his legendary trip from Newcomb to the North Creek Train Station after President William McKinley was assassinated.
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