A tale of two bridges

For the DOT, they are going to have to take every precaution to make sure the intersection is safe. After all, one of the reasons there is not a full traffic light in Elizabethtown is because of the downhill grade coming from the county government center. At this new light, you will now have two downhill grades that are more acute funneling into the same junction. Reduced speed limits will need to be posted well ahead of the intersections along with signage and mobile billboards alerting drivers to the changes. These signs are going to have to stick around for a while, too, because once everyone gets used to the changes, it will be summer and all the summer traffic will return without a knowledge of the new traffic pattern.

The fact of the matter is that the bridge has been red flagged by the DOT and has to be replaced because it has gotten to the point it can no longer withstand a proper traffic load. Given the importance of the intersection to central Essex County as well as the government center, we would hope that the Board of Supervisors would ask for a more expeditious ending to this matter. In Wadhams, bridge replacement work began in early spring this year and just recently concluded. While that was an inconvenience to many, it was not the main lifeline for a majority of workers in the region. It was also not the only way to get from one major town to another, as motorists could use the Lake Shore Road from Westport or County Route 12 from Elizabethtown to reach the towns of Essex and Willsboro in near identical times to traveling through Wadhams. In this case, commuters would have to commute through Westport, thus increasing traffic on their roads, and use one of several alternative routes in order to avoid the potential congestion or safety issues.

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