First beams arrive for bridge across Sacandaga Lake

The enormous steel beams that will support the new Batchellerville Bridge across Great Sacandaga Lak

The enormous steel beams that will support the new Batchellerville Bridge across Great Sacandaga Lake have begun arriving, a major step forward for the multiyear project.

The first two I-beams — each roughly 100 feet long — arrived last week, an event the community marked with photographs of the big truck delivering the beams up South Shore Road.

“It was fantastic,” Town Supervisor Jean Raymond said of the deliveries, a major step forward for the three-year, $46.6 million project. “When you see the steel coming, it’s even more, ‘Wow!’ ”

Large cranes have been brought in and will start installing the beams as soon as this week. Residents of this tiny Saratoga County town have long been anxious about the deterioration of the old bridge, now 81 years old.

It stretches more than 3,000 feet across the middle of the lake, making it one of the longest bridges in upstate New York. It is now limited to alternating one-way traffic because of its deterioration.

Work on the new bridge, a decade in the planning, began in August 2010 under a federally funded Department of Transportation contract awarded to Harrison & Burrowes Bridge Constructors of Glenmont.

Work since then has focused on the construction of a dozen piers that will support the new bridge, to be located just south of the old bridge. Most of the piers are now finished, though work continues on the piers farther out in the lake.

DOT is pleased with the progress Harrison & Burrowes has made this year. Workers were able to make up for delays from last year when high water levels flooded some of the coffer dams for the piers.

“It’s about where we want to be,” said Carol Breen, a DOT spokeswoman.

Enough progress has been made that the contractor will be able to stop work for the winter around the time that ice forms in the lake, she said. Last winter, work on the piers went on right through the coldest months.

The current plan is to get as many of the steel support beams installed as possible this fall, with the bridge superstructure, deck and driving surface to be built next year. The planned completion date is late 2012.

Harrison & Burrowes will then have another year to dismantle the old bridge, with the entire project wrapping up in late 2013.

That’s on schedule, Breen said, even though the construction contract allows for up to another year in case there were unforeseen delays.

“They made very good progress over the summer,” she said.

With the start of steel work, Breen said, progress will become more obvious to the general public.

“It’s one of the more visible aspects,” she said. “Actually seeing the steel go up should be a little more encouraging for the people who live up there.”

A number of people turned out last Tuesday to see the first beam arrive on a specialized truck that made its way along South Shore Road from Broadalbin. The intersection at the east end of the bridge was closed while the truck backed through it to leave its load in the town waterfront park that is serving as a construction staging area.

From there, cranes on barges will be used to move them into place, with work starting at the west end of the bridge.

About 100 steel beams will go into the bridge.

Photos of the construction are posted on the town website,

Categories: Schenectady County

Leave a Reply