Construction of a new bridge connecting Crown Point, New York and Addison, Vermont is on-track for completion sometime next fall, despite an unusually harsh winter.
That's according to Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward, who co-chairs the bridge project's Public Advisory Committee.
The bridge was demolished two years ago after failing a state inspection.
Sayward says construction of the new bridge has faced a variety of challenges, including one of the wildest winters in years.
She also notes that the state Department of Transportation has been good when it comes to keeping Flatiron Construction, the company building the bridge, on schedule.
"Flatiron has had some problems with the piers and the soils," Sayward said. "Certainly, it hasn't been something they could have prevented. The soils are like a McDonald's milkshake and trying to put the straw in the middle and hitting the top of the straw - it sort of just bounces around. That's the texture of the soils out there."
"So they had some unforeseen problems with some of the piers which took them some time, but they were able to rectify those problems," she added.
According to Sayward, once Flatiron has the piers in place, the remaining work will move somewhat quickly. She notes Flatiron is "known for its steel work."
"I have to believe that with their past experience, the homestretch, if you will, is going to move a lot quicker than getting the piers and approaches in place," Sayward said.
Lawmakers like Sayward note that bridges and roads across New York are in terrible shape. Add to that the state's fiscal problem, and you have a recipe for disaster, Sayward says.
But she says that officials on the federal level hope to send more money to states to focus on infrastructure issues.
"I believe that the federal government has recognized the problem and they're talking about more infrastructure money, which I think could be good for New York and all of our states that have problems," Sayward said.
Sayward says the Crown Point bridge project moved quickly because of the formation of a local coalition that kept pressure on the state.
"I've never seen anything like it," she said. "They built a chain of emails so that everybody was updated so that everyone was updated when the bridge went out and where they could catch the quickest rides and whatnot."
"I think what helped was that everyone was so positive - even though they were hurting, they stayed positive," Sayward added. "So DOT got engaged with them, keeping them up as to what the progress was."
Sayward says more funds are needed to continue rebuilding infrastructure that is getting "worse and worse."
Whether that funding will come from the federal government or the state is still unclear, Sayward notes.