Route 9 has been closed for an indefinite amount of time because a culvert has failed in New Russia, four miles south of Elizabethtown. Motorists are being rerouted through Keene to exit 30 of the Adirondack Northway.
ELIZABETHTOWN — Motorists are advised that Route 9 between Roaring Brook Lane and Simonds Hill Road in the hamlet of New Russia, Town of Elizabethtown, has been closed indefinitely due to a failing culvert underneath the road.
“We’re assuming it’s just old age,” Bryan Viggiani, a spokesperson for the New York State Department of Transportation, said of why the culvert failed. He said the structure was built in 1911.
The NYDOT is in the process of investigating the damaged culvert and expediting a repair. A reopening date has not yet been determined.
“We’re up there investigating what the quickest way to repair that is and get Route 9 open again,” Viggiani said, adding that estimates of work length were impossible until a field analysis was finished.
“It will just be a slight irritation for people north of the culvert and it will be more of a major irritation for those to the south,” Elizabethtown Supervisor Noel Merrihew said.
The closure is approximately six miles north of the intersection — known locally as malfunction junction — of Route 9 and Route 73 in Elizabethtown, near Exit 30 of the Adirondack Northway. An average of 677 motor vehicles use this stretch of Route 9 daily.
“The traffic volume is fairly low there,” Viggiani said.
A detour will be posted that will send motorists on Route 73 to Route 9N southeast of the Keene hamlet to Route 9 in the Elizabethtown hamlet. Access to properties and side streets up to the closure point will be maintained. A local detour may also be available.
Santina Cross, owner of the Halfway House, a nearby restaurant, was unhappy with the closure, but was resigned to it.
“What are you going to do?” She asked.
Speaking on the afternoon of June 5, shortly after a press release regarding the failed culvert was released, Cross said the closure had already effected her business. At that moment there were only three people in her establishment. It’s generally full at that time, Cross said.