Recycled bridges save Essex County taxpayers

Gouchie Road bridge over Trout Brook, Minerva

Gouchie Road bridge over Trout Brook, Minerva Photo by Andy Flynn.

— Bridges have been one of the main themes for the Essex County Department of Public works over the past 12 months.

From the effects of the spring flooding of 2011, Tropical Storm Irene and deteriorating conditions, several bridges throughout the county have needed emergency and special attention.

Thankfully, according to DPW Superintendent Anthony LaVigne, New York state stepped up with a program that helped save the county hundreds of thousands of dollars.

The state started to offer inverset bridges to counties in need. Some of the pre-made spans were recycled pieces that formerly were used as overpasses for Northway exits.

LaVigne said the department first used the recycled bridges to fix a span of the Adirondack Loj Road in Lake Placid.

“The inverset bridges offered to the county at no cost,” LaVigne said. “The bridge was 15 years old and their design life was 70 years. Essex County transported the bridges to North Elba and Steven Miller construction took care of constructing the bridges. The end result was that we now have a two-lane bridge there with a savings of about 250,000 for using the reused bridge.“

LaVigne said that the success of the Loj bridge led the county to use the same inverset spans on the Hulbert Road Bridge in Lewis and Lacy Road Bridge in Keene, which both were damaged by Tropical Storm Irene. They also used an inverset recently to fix the Gouchie Road Bridge in Minerva.

“We just finished the Gouchie Road Bridge last week,” LaVigne said. “We saved two months’ construction time on each bridge. These are all state of the art and they have much lower maintenance costs.”

Supervisors said that they were pleased with the new option in bridge replacement.

“I just want to thank you for the work,” Minerva Supervisor Sue Montgomery-Corey said. “I could not believe how great the site looked. They took great care of it and they were great with communicating with the neighbors.”

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