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Morrisonville bridge to be replaced

The State Route 22B bridge which spans the Saranac River in downtown Morrisonville is scheduled to be replaced in late summer 2013. A meeting will be held Tuesday, Nov. 15, to provide the public with information on the project.

The State Route 22B bridge which spans the Saranac River in downtown Morrisonville is scheduled to be replaced in late summer 2013. A meeting will be held Tuesday, Nov. 15, to provide the public with information on the project. Photo by Jeremiah S. Papineau.

— Planning has begun to replace an aging bridge in the hamlet of Morrisonville.

Representatives from the state Department of Transportation will hold a public information meeting Tuesday, Nov. 15, to provide information and answer questions about a project being proposed by the state to replace the State Route 22B bridge over the Saranac River in downtown Morrisonville.

“It’s an old, old bridge,” Schuyler Falls Town Supervisor Harold Ormsby said of the circa 1948 structure. “It’s needed to be replaced for quite a few years.”

NYSDOT engineer David Moffatt said the state has been examining replacing the bridge for the past three years though noted the current structure is not considered unsafe.

“There are just some structural issues, rust and things like that,” said Moffatt. “It’s just old.”

The replacing of the bridge — which could happen as late summer 2013 and wrap by fall 2014 — is necessary before it gets to the point where it would be unsafe, said Moffatt.

“It’s just to make sure something doesn’t happen,” emphasized Moffatt. “There is no critical issue.”

The estimated $9 million bridge replacement project would be federally-funded and involve building a temporary bridge adjacent to the existing one as it is demolished, said Moffatt. Temporary traffic signals would be installed to regulate traffic and curbing, sidewalks and associated waterlines will be replaced.

“It will be a slight inconvenience for motorists, but it shouldn’t be that bad,” he said.

The alternative would have been to provide a lengthy detour for traffic, which Moffatt said would likely have not been favorable for those who frequently use the current bridge.

The new bridge will also be a steel truss structure with an arch design similar to the current one. The new structure will also have wider lanes, added Moffatt.

“As I understand it, there have been accidents there before. This would hopefully correct that,” said Moffatt.

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