Bridges continue to be the main topic of conversation at the Essex County Department of Public Works.
During the Sept. 17 Public Works Committee meeting, DPW Superintendent Anthony LaVigne said that work has progressed on some bridges, while more have been flagged for potential hazards.
LaVigne started with an update on the Gouchie Bridge in Minerva, which was closed Aug. 16 after receiving a “red flag” from the State Department of Transportation.
LaVigne said that since, a footbridge had been installed by the county to provide temporary access to landowners that needed to access their property on the one-lane road.
The county went out for an emergency bid, which was awarded Aug. 29 to Adirondack Concrete at a cost of $163,512.
“Work began Sept. 10 and the work is expected to be completed by Oct. 12,” LaVigne said.
“Thanks for all of the work on the Gouchie Road Bridge, it has been appreciated,” Minerva Supervisor Sue Montgomery-Corey said.
LaVigne then addressed the latest bridge situation, which took place in Au Sable Forks, where the Rolling Mill Hill/Grove Bridge was closed for a day so crews could create a temporary abutment.
“They needed to shore up the bridge and make sure it was safe,” Jay Supervisor and Board Chairman Randy Douglas said. “It is a bridge that is more used than you would think because it is the access point to our youth soccer and baseball fields as well as out community garden, sewer plant and water plant. The school bus also needs the bridge for students.”
LaVigne said that he had heard some preliminary tests about the ground that the bridge is located on.
“They saw loose gravel to about 35 feet and then they hit solid ground,” LaVigne said. “They are in the process of analyzing that and coming up with a design.”
LaVigne also reported on the progress of the Old Military Road project in Lake Placid, saying that paving was scheduled to begin on Sept. 19 while a portion of the road would remain closed until Oct. 1.
Later, Westport Supervisor Daniel Connell thanked the DPW for work done between Westport and Essex.
“We had a situation on the Lake Shore Road that people felt was an unsafe condition,” Connell said. “As soon as I contacted Tony it was taken care of immediately and I have had several phone calls saying how happy they are that it was taken care of as quickly as it was.”