Jericho Road bridge closed

The Albany County Executive's Office on Monday, July 6, closed the Jericho Road bridge over the CSX Rail Yards in Selkirk, and according to County Spokeswoman Mary Duryea, with a $16 million price tag to replace and $1 million price tag to remove, the bridge is slated to be destroyed.

The county sent a detailed report to the state's Department of Transportation, outlining the current state of the bridge and the cost analysis of repairing, replacing and removing it.

Duryea said after a recent bridge inspection, it was recommended that the county close the nearly 90-year-old bridge due to the corrosion of several critical steel members.

Duryea said there are no plans to build a new one.

Our department worked with design consultants Clough Harbour, she said. "The recommendation was to remove that bridge but that still needs to be approved by the state's Department of Transportation."

Duryea said, "It will no longer be in use and alternative routes will be suggested," such as routes 32 and 396.

Albany County Department of Public Works Commissioner Michael Franchini said the bridge was a known issue because of its age, and, as a result, it was inspected annually instead of every two years.

"This isn't a surprise, it's an 86-year-old bridge," he said. "It was inspected by the DOT on the last week of June and the DOT found some issues and problems all relating to corrosion and the loss of steel."

Although cost is a factor in such a decision, Franchini said public safety is the county's main priority.

"We try to make these decisions based on safety," he said, but added that both the cost and the logistics to build a new bridge are prohibitive.

"It will cost at least $16 million to replace that bridge," Franchini said. "The cost is just too high. ... It's not like you can just close down the rail yards and build a bridge. It would be quite the opposite, actually."

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