Work continues on I-87, lane closures expected

LAKE GEORGE - Northway lane closures and road shoulder restrictions are likely to be ongoing for several weeks between Exits 22 and 24 as the state Department of Transportation continues its work to upgrade the highway, DOT officials said this week.

The repair work, which began in mid-August, includes resurfacing the roadway for 25 miles between Northway Exit 18 in Queensbury and Exit 24 in Bolton, and replacing much of the guardrail along that distance, according to DOT spokesman Peter Van Keuren

The paving project, totaling $11.8 million, is being accomplished by Kubricky Construction of Queensbury.

The project calls for removing two inches of the existing pavement and replacing it with new asphalt. Pavement striping and traffic data collectors imbedded at various locations in the pavement will be replaced. Repairs and improvements on the highway and its shoulders are being accomplished where necessary, Van Keuren said. Some of the work is to be done during nighttime hours.

The project includes replacing miles of the familiar oxidized brown guardrails, once touted as an environmental innovation, with standard galvanized guardrails.

The rails being replaced were made of an alloy that was designed to rust only on the surface, supposedly saving painting and maintenance costs - while blending with the scenery. The steel's surface oxidation was supposed to form a barrier to prevent structural decay.

But state engineers discovered about two years ago that the specialized guardrails were indeed decaying, and needed to be replaced for safety reasons.

The replacement statewide of the special oxidized guardrails, which are commonplace throughout the Adirondacks, is expected to cost $121 million statewide.

Completion of the paving and guardrail work is expected as soon as mid-October.

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