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Work begins on bridge rehabs

— Breen said waiting would have also lead to more expensive repairs, meaning fewer bridges would have received attention.

“This multi-million dollar investment into the Congress Street Bridge is critical to the future condition and stability of a key corridor into Troy and Watervliet,” said Troy Mayor Lou Rosamilia in a statement.

Bette & Cring of Latham is the construction company completing the Congress Street Bridge construction. During construction, the bridge will be reduced to one lane in each direction and only one sidewalk will be open. Work on the portion over I-787 will take place this year, with work on the portion over the Hudson River starting next year.

Other bridges with work slated to be completed by the end of the year are the bridge carrying Washington Avenue over I-90 in Rensselaer; bridges carrying I-90 eastbound and westbound over Krafts Road in Schodack; bridges carrying Route 22 over East Creek in Stephentown and Route 22 over Dill Brook in Petersburgh.

Deck replacement is considered a major bridge repair, said Breen, in line with replacing piers for bridges over water or replacing a whole bridge. But there are minor things being done to extend bridge life all the time that many drivers don’t even realize, she said.

“There are joints in the bridges so the concrete can expand and contract with the weather and we have to replace those joints. There are bearings the bridge sits on and they have to expand and contract so we get in there and replace those … even putting a fresh coat of paint on every so often prevents rust on the bridge,” said Breen.

Trained engineers go over every inch of the state’s bridges to dole out a rating from one to seven. A seven is usually a brand new bridge and a six would be considered “extremely good condition.” A rating of four signifies various repairs are needed and a three or lower usually means a major rehab project is necessary.

The bridge projects being completed with NY Works funding have just begun, but on June 22, the very first project of a $13.2 million repaving effort began using NY Works dollars. The millions will be used to resurface 21 segments of state roads in Albany, Columbia, Rensselaer and Washington counties.

For more information about roadways targeted under the NY Works Program, visit www.nysdot.gov. Travel information is available by calling 511 or visiting www.511NY.org.

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