RENSSELAER FALLS The St. Lawrence County Highway Department says its on track to replace the County Route 14 bridge over the Oswegatchie River by late November.
The project, which began in June, involves demolishing the old truss-style bridge, which leaked and corroded over time, and replacing it with a one-pier, steel structure with a concrete deck.
The original bridge, which was built in 1930, underwent major repairs in 1986 when concrete was poured over pressured-treated lumber to help stabilize the structure. Over time, the blacktop and the concrete deteriorated, historian Robert G. Poor said.
Crews are working on the base of the structure, but in the meantime residents are adapting to the rather large gap left in the center of their community.
My sons live on the other side of the bridge, said Mr. Poor, who said it is no problem to make the eight-mile trip around the bridge to visit them.
While construction might be an inconvenience, county crews said it is necessary.
The cost of repairing the bridge and trying to bring it up to an acceptable load rating was greater than the cost of replacing the entire structure, based on the age of the steel and type of structure that it was, county Highway Superintendent Toby W. Bogart said Wednesday. It didnt lend itself to rehabilitation by todays standards.
The approximately $3 million project will be 80 percent paid for by federal funds, 15 percent by state funds and 5 percent by the county.