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Moriah Center Bridge closed

Repairs expected to take a week

The Moriah Center Bridge has been closed to allow for emergency repairs. Cars are being detoured onto Titus Road, which is too small for heavy trucks. The truck detour is on Route 9N/22 and Pelfershire Road.

The Moriah Center Bridge has been closed to allow for emergency repairs. Cars are being detoured onto Titus Road, which is too small for heavy trucks. The truck detour is on Route 9N/22 and Pelfershire Road. Photo by Nancy Frasier.

— The Moriah Center Bridge has been closed to allow for emergency repairs.

Cars are being detoured onto Titus Road, which is too small for heavy trucks. The truck detour is on Route 9N/22 and Pelfershire Road.

The closure is to replace the wooden deck and some support girders.

Plans are to have the span open for traffic by the end of this week.

The Moriah Center bridge was scheduled for reconstruction next summer, but that changed when the bridge was “red flagged” by the New York State Department of Transportation more than a week ago.

A five-ton weight limited was immediately placed on the bridge, which handles more than 3,000 vehicles day — making it the most-travled span in the county.

Tony LaVigne, county Department of Public Works superintendent, presented members of the Essex County Board of Supervisors with an emergency resolution last week to start work to repair the near-failing structure, which could cost up to $70,000 that will be taken from unexpended fund balance.

LaVigne said that the importance of the bridge necessities its repair.

“This is the busiest bridge that I have on inventory,” he said. “There are more than 3,000 cars per day. The only diesel fuel in town is adjacent to the bridge. The emergency squad utilizes the bridge. I need to get that bridge open to all traffic.”

LaVigne plans to use four beams that are currently in the county inventory and three more that he has located through a contractor in order to fix the bridge.

“I plan to use the deck that is there and replace it within five-to-six days of closure,” LaVigne said told supervisors.

LaVigne said that he is 90-percent sure that the plan is the most cost effective and will not use the majority of the $70,000 unless another option is needed.

LaVigne added that the bridge could not be cut down to one lane.

“With six roads coming together there, a single lane will not work,” he said.

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