Gouchie Road bridge over Trout Brook, Minerva
Bridges have been one of the main themes for the Essex County Department of Public works over the past 12 months.
From the effects of the spring flooding of 2011, Tropical Storm Irene and deteriorating conditions, several bridges throughout the county have needed emergency and special attention.
Thankfully, according to DPW Superintendent Anthony LaVigne, New York state stepped up with a program that helped save the county hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The state started to offer inverset bridges to counties in need. Some of the pre-made spans were recycled pieces that formerly were used as overpasses for Northway exits.
LaVigne said the department first used the recycled bridges to fix a span of the Adirondack Loj Road in Lake Placid.
“The inverset bridges offered to the county at no cost,” LaVigne said. “The bridge was 15 years old and their design life was 70 years. Essex County transported the bridges to North Elba and Steven Miller construction took care of constructing the bridges. The end result was that we now have a two-lane bridge there with a savings of about 250,000 for using the reused bridge.“
LaVigne said that the success of the Loj bridge led the county to use the same inverset spans on the Hulbert Road Bridge in Lewis and Lacy Road Bridge in Keene, which both were damaged by Tropical Storm Irene. They also used an inverset recently to fix the Gouchie Road Bridge in Minerva.
“We just finished the Gouchie Road Bridge last week,” LaVigne said. “We saved two months’ construction time on each bridge. These are all state of the art and they have much lower maintenance costs.”
Supervisors said that they were pleased with the new option in bridge replacement.
“I just want to thank you for the work,” Minerva Supervisor Sue Montgomery-Corey said. “I could not believe how great the site looked. They took great care of it and they were great with communicating with the neighbors.”
“They did a great job in each of these areas and we are thankful for their work,” Keene Supervisor William Ferebee said.
“This is certainly a success story for our department,” LaVigne said. He added that they hope to continue their partnership with the state, but there are currently no other spans that are available for recycling.
During the Oct. 15 Public Works committee meeting, LaVigne said that there were more bridges that had been red flagged and deemed in need of repair by the state, including bridges in Keene, Schroon, Moriah and Ticonderoga, along with work on bridges in Moriah that were damaged by the spring 2011 flooding.
“How often do they inspect these bridges,” Ferebee asked.
“They inspect the bridges every other year unless they have an existing flag condition and then they inspect them every year,” LaVigne said.