Capital Region

Truck driver ID’d in Clifton Park Northway overpass strike; Colonie resident ticketed

The boom lift Wednesday morning, left. Damage to the underside of the overpass.
PHOTOGRAPHER:
The boom lift Wednesday morning, left. Damage to the underside of the overpass.

CLIFTON PARK – State police Thursday identified the truck driver whose boom lift struck the Sitterly Road overpass on the Northway, severely damaging it Wednesday morning.

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George Gizzi, 56, of Colonie, was traveling in the right most southbound lane early Wednesday morning. The boom lift on the trailer of the truck had raised, exceeding the high limit for the Sitterly overpass and struck the bridge.

The impact knocked the boom lift from the trailer and it came to rest across all three lanes, state police said.

The impact also severely damaged the bridge supports, including at least three large I beams. One sustained a large gash. It bent at least two others.

Photos: Images from the scene

shut down all the Northway’s southbound lanes at a spot where thousands of Clifton Park and Halfmoon commuters heading for Albany usually got onto the interstate each morning. That section of the Northway is used by about 96,000 vehicles per day.

The left two southbound lanes have since reopened. However, the right most south bound lane remained closed at Exit 9 and the Exit 9 southbound on-ramp also remained closed.  Those closures to remain for the duration of the overpass repair, state police said Thursday morning.

State police did not address the status of Sitterly Road at the overpass, but the Shenendehowa Central School District notified parents it was advised that the Sitterly Road bridge will be closed for as long as three weeks. The district said parents should anticipate significant delays on bus routes.

The closure of the Exit 9 southbound ramp will also lead to major delays on Route 9, Route 146, Grooms Road and Moe Road, the notice said.

The DOT confirmed there would be an extended closure, but without providing a timeline other than to say two southbound lanes would be open Thursday morning. “Following a comprehensive inspection and damage assessment by licensed professional engineers of the Sitterly Road overpass on the Adirondack Northway, New York State Department of Transportation crews have begun installing temporary support structures to safely reopen two of the three southbound lanes on Interstate 87 in advance of tomorrow morning’s rush hour,” DOT Region 1 Director Patrick Barnes said in a statement Wednesday night.

“Options for a more permanent repair to the structure are still being evaluated and the overpass will remain closed until further notice.” As of Wednesday night, the southbound Northway is open only to passenger vehicles between Exits 10 and 9, with trucks being directed to detour at Exit 10. Barnes said that to better accommodate local southbound traffic, the timing of traffic lights along State Route 9 have been adjusted for motorists using that alternate route.

Photos: Images from the scene

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Categories: News, Saratoga County

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