SCHENECTADY — The Cotton Factory Hollow Bridge that spans I-890 was shut down by the Schenectady Police Department at around noon Saturday when a police officer noticed a problem with one of its expansion joints.
Mayor Gary McCarthy, who was at the scene Saturday afternoon with a work crew from the city Office of General Services, explained: “When the officer looked at [the joint] he saw that some of it had recessed a little bit, down like an inch, and he also observed that as vehicles went over it, it was making odd sounds, so it looked like the metal was moving a little bit,” McCarthy said.
“Because this expansion joint had deteriorated somewhat, when you go over it there would be bumps, so we’re just going to put some steel plating down, so when vehicles go over it you won’t even notice it,” McCarthy said.
The Cotton Factory Hollow Bridge crosses I-890 and connects Hulett Street in the Hamilton Hill section of Schenectady to Francis Avenue in Mont Pleasant.
McCarthy said city employees Saturday were working to install steel plates to reinforce the joint. He said the shut down was expected to be over by Saturday evening.
Schenectady has been awarded approximately $3 million by the state to reconstruct the bridge, but the plan is still in the design phase, he said.
“So, we’ll design the replacement deck, and then later this year we’ll go out to bid on that, and then probably in 2021 the actual work would be done on the bridge to replace the deck surface,” he said.
McCarthy said he believes there was never any risk to public safety from the bridge, with the joint problem not affecting the stability of the structure.
“At no time was there any risk to any pedestrians or vehicles going over it,” he said.