ELIZABETHTOWN — It looks like an Essex County road heavily damaged by Tropical Storm Irene is finally getting federal funding to be rebuilt.

The Hull’s Falls Road reconstruction project in Keene got tentatively green-lighted Monday when the County Board of Supervisors Ways and Means Committee approved the work, including $42,500 for design-, bidding- and construction-phase services to Schoder Rivers Associates of Queensbury.

Total cost won't be known until bids are in but will include culvert installation. The road, which is sparsely populated, is near the East Branch of the Ausable River.

The committee voted unanimously for the project, with Board of Supervisors Chair William Ferebee (R-Keene) and Supervisor Roby Politi (R-North Elba) absent and excused.

The road project gets a final vote by lawmakers at 10 a.m. Monday, March 7, in the Old County Courthouse in Elizabethtown.

SLOW AUTHORIZATION

A nearby stream frequently floods Hull’s Falls Road; it was closed for a day last week after heavy rains swept across the North Country.

After the meeting, County Deputy Highway Superintendent James Dougan said that, although Hull’s Falls Road was damaged by Tropical Storm Irene in 2011, it has taken this long to receive funding for repairs from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

“We just got authorized for money from FEMA for the damage done by Irene,” Dougan said. “We’ll be able to repair that. (But) the section that flooded last week was a different part of the road.”

He said the road is one of several in the county, including River Road in North Elba, that are susceptible to flooding.

BRIDGE WORK

The county also hired Dente Engineering to do geotechnical and subsurface reports for four county bridges that need replacement.

The spans and report costs are:

• Haselton Road Bridge, over New Bridge Brook, Wilmington, $9,675.

• Fraternaland Bridge, over Paradox Creek, Schroon, $9,300.

• Trout Brook Road Bridge #1, over Trout Brook, Minerva, $9,123.

• Trout Brook Road Bridge #2, over Minerva Brook, Minerva, $9,123.

Supervisor Thomas Scozzafava (R-Moriah) asked why the four bridges were getting attention when the work wouldn’t be done until later in the year.

“We were going to get engineering done now rather than later, because we were (previously) getting estimates that were way out of line,” County Manager Daniel Palmer told him.

“This is an attempt to get to bridges we know we’re going to replace, so we have accurate information to arrive at an estimate (of construction costs).”

The engineering reports will still be usable when the bridges are replaced, Palmer said.

Email Lohr McKinstry:

lmckinstry@pressrepublican.com

Twitter: @LohrMcKinstry

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