Sizzling Summer travel delays to be expected

Rte. 73 Construction to reduce traffic to one lane for bridge construction

Temporary traffic lights have been set up at the intersection of Routes 73 and 9N, where work is scheduled to begin on the Norton Brook Bridge June 4.

Temporary traffic lights have been set up at the intersection of Routes 73 and 9N, where work is scheduled to begin on the Norton Brook Bridge June 4. Photo by Andy Flynn.

— Construction will begin on two of the most traveled highways in Essex County in early June, including Route 73 in the town of Keene and Route 86 in Ray Brook.

Construction of a bridge on Route 73 near the intersection with Route 9N, will begin June 4 and is planned to continue through the fall.

The Norton Brook Bridge will be replaced due to deteriorating concrete, according to a New York State Department of Transportation spokesperson Carol Breen. The current bridge will be replaced with a new concrete structure and will have a total construction cost of about $1.3 million.

The construction will begin June 4 and will reduce the traffic on the bridge to alternating one way. The project’s completion date is set for late November.

To prepare for the construction, DOT has installed two temporary traffic lights on either side of the bridge. Breen said it is important for drivers to take notice of the “No Turn on Red” for the traffic light at the intersection of Route 73 and Route 9N.

“It’s important that drivers obey the traffic law to eliminate a possible head-on collisions on the bridge,” Breen said.

Keene Town Supervisor William Ferebee said the bridge repair is a much needed project to ensure driver’s safety. The bridge was included in the state’s overall Capital Program based on its deteriorating condition.

“This bridge needs to be replaced to remain safe for traffic,” Breen said.

The Capital Program manages 2,818 lane miles of highway and more than 800 bridges. Construction plans were finalized last fall by the program and opened up for bids in January. DOT later awarded the project to Watertown based company, Bette & Cring, after coming in with the lowest bid.

As far as a travel delay, Ferebee said the most people will be expected to wait would be three minutes. The wait will give visitors to the Adirondacks an opportunity to stop and enjoy the natural beauty of the landscape he said.

“It’s going to be an inconvenience but it won’t be a long-term inconvenience,” Ferebee said.

Currently, workers are preparing the site for construction, and a DOT sign is informing travelers of the upcoming closure. Other preliminary work has included equipment mobilization and other site preparation.

On Monday, June 11, road repaving will start for the section of Route 86 between Saranac Lake and Lake Placid.

Motorists should expect delays with the Route 73 and Route 86 construction.

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