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Floodwaters, erosion force bridge closure

Access to Route 103 span compromised, restoration unknown

The roadway to the Route 103 bridge from the Glenville side was washed out by floodwaters from the Mohawk River.

The roadway to the Route 103 bridge from the Glenville side was washed out by floodwaters from the Mohawk River. Photo by John Purcell.

— There is also a 6-inch natural gas line running along the bridge structure at Lock 9 and it got washed away after Irene, said Patrick Stella, spokesman for National Grid. Once a piece of the road was washed away, he said, the gas line was turned off.

There are several options National Grid is looking at in order to restore natural gas to around 4,000 customers in Rotterdam Junction, said Stella.

A National Grid mobile command unit has been set up at Route 5 S across from the Rotterdam Junction Fire Station to try to support the fire station and help provide meals to people. Compressed natural gas in tanks was brought to the station, so emergency personnel have a working stove and showers available to residents.

The permanent solution to the natural gas line problem, though, appears to involve National Grid doing directional drilling underneath the Mohawk Riverbed, which would take several weeks to complete. The Rotterdam Town Board is set to vote on a resolution allowing the company to drill above the Great Flats Aquifer, which is the water supply for the town and a majority of county residents.

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