Saratoga County

Twin Bridges work under way

Multiple weekends of traffic at the Twin Bridges that could potentially dwarf rush-hour congestion s

Multiple weekends of traffic at the Twin Bridges that could potentially dwarf rush-hour congestion started this weekend.

On Friday at 10 p.m., workers from the state Department of Transportation shut down the northbound bridge for deck replacement work, leaving one lane of traffic open in each direction on the southbound bridge. The northbound bridge is expected to be reopened by 5 a.m. on Monday, with traffic returning to normal during the work week.

The closing procedure will likely be repeated over five more weekends, with both bridges remaining open during the Columbus Day holiday weekend in October.

The work is part of a $29 million deck replacement project, which will include work on the southbound bridge in early spring for a comparable period.

DOT spokeswoman Carol Breen said motorists planning to travel on the Twin Bridges during the partial closure should anticipate delays and are encouraged to seek alternate routes. As a result of congestion and people seeking alternate routes across the Mohawk River, motorists are warned of heavier than usual traffic on Route 9 each weekend.

The worst backup is expected from mid-morning through late afternoon Saturdays and Sundays.

Breen said the DOT has been actively alerting people about the lane closures, with emergency responders, local businesses, the Albany International Airport, AAA and nearby hospitals all briefed on the situation.

“We’ve really tried to reach out to everybody,” she said.

Saratoga County Chamber of Commerce President Todd Shimkus, who was at a briefing, said the DOT outreach efforts will go a long way in preventing worse backups. Commuters will be affected, he said, but he predicted it wouldn’t deter anyone from traveling.

This could be good news for businesses and tourist areas hoping to benefit from the coming fall season.

Shimkus said he isn’t hearing any concerns from members about losing business because of the lane closures. As for any economic fallout, he said, “I wouldn’t imagine any at all.”

One way people can avoid the traffic and monitor surrounding areas is by calling 511 or going to, where up-to-date travel information is available. This state service is also available through a mobile application that people can access through their smartphones.

The DOT also will be posting the lane closures on the road, with 13 signs around the bridge in each direction. Additionally, there will be some signs on the Thruway and down in New York City. Breen said the goal is to alert people soon enough so they can take alternative routes.

Kendra Adams, executive director of the New York State Motor Truck Association, said her members have been aware for weeks about the upcoming construction, and she credited the DOT with helping to spread the word.

While noting that a majority of truckers travel on the weekdays, Adams stressed that it is a 24/7 business where a significant amount of work is done on weekends.

Part of the congestion could be alleviated by people who live in southern Saratoga County and northern Albany County who are anticipating a lot of traffic. Shimkus contended that people living near the bridges will wise up quickly and begin taking alternative routes, which should help reduce traffic on the Twin Bridges.

It won’t take long, he said, for word to spread quickly among local travelers on the bridges that the road closure should be avoided.

Anyone caught speeding in the work zone, which extends at least a quarter of a mile beyond the immediate area of the bridges, will have their fines doubled. Two or more speeding violation convictions in a work zone could result in the suspension of a driver’s license.

Categories: Uncategorized

Leave a Reply