The project would also eliminate the existing bridge piers at the shoulders on the Northway, paving the way for possible future interstate modifications.
With more months built into the timetable, town of Malta officials can make plans for wrapping the bridges into the town's newly adopted linkage plan.
"We're discussing improving the shoulders on the bridges, and also adding a sidewalk for an extension of our pathway to get over the bridge," said town parks and recreation director Audrey Ball. "Lots of serious cyclists take that route to get across Route 9 over to the rural roads on Malta Avenue Extension."
Ball said the cycling path, which would be safely separated from the road and shoulders, would be limited to the scope of the project funded by state DOT.
"This won't create a path across the entire road, but it's a start," said Ball.
Meanwhile, the owner of the business located nearest the bridges said he is keeping careful track of when the project will take place, since he'll be the most likely affected when cars are steered away from his entrance.
Dave Bowman owns Bowman Orchards North, a four-season farm with fruits, vegetables and baked goods.
"Whenever they decide to do the project, it could ruin my business for a year," said Bowman. "I haven't gotten any specifics from the state about when the construction will start; but we're talking about what can be done to keep the impact down for me, if possible."
Plans to help Bowman include putting up visible signs showing drivers how to get to his farm.
Bowman said he also needs months of advance notice so he can buy seeds and prepare for his annual planting.
"If the bridge is closed in the fall, I will lose my entire pick-your-own apple season," said Bowman. "My preference would be that they start it very early in the spring and be done by fall."
"We're going to keep people posted," said Blake. "We're following our original schedule to have the design finished and put out the plans by November 2008."