CLIFTON PARK — Damage caused by an oversize vehicle on the Northway was so extensive that part of the Sitterly Road bridge will have to be removed.
The southbound side of the Northway will be closed from 8 p.m. Saturday to approximately noon Sunday, weather permitting, as that segment of the span is taken out, the state Department of Transportation reported Wednesday.
In the near future a temporary span will be installed and the state DOT will reopen Sitterly Road, a key route between Clifton Park and Halfmoon used by motorists 15,000 times a day.
A boom lift being towed on a trailer behind a truck smashed into the overpass around 5:30 a.m. April 14. The crash closed all three southbound lanes of the Northway, snarling the morning commute.
The bridge was immediately closed as well, so that engineers could evaluate the structural damage it had sustained. Photos showed significant distortion to some of the steel beams beneath the bridge’s deck.
DOT Region 1 Director Patrick Barnes said Wednesday evening that the damage is extensive enough that the segment of the bridge over the southbound lanes will be removed.
The work is expected to take about 16 hours, weather permitting. During the road closure, southbound motorists will be detoured off the Northway at Exit 9 and back on at Exit 8A via Route 146, Route 9 and Grooms Road.
The National Weather Service on Wednesday was forecasting clear skies Saturday and rain Sunday.
Closure of the Sitterly Road bridge caused traffic congestion in the two towns and prompted adjustment of normal driving patterns and school bus routes.
The DOT said traffic would resume on the bridge when the temporary span is installed, until a more permanent solution is constructed.
Police said George Gizzi, 56, of Colonie, was driving an Admar Supply Co. truck in the right southbound lane when the boom lift he was towing hit the overpass. The rig exceeded the 14-foot, 4-inch height limit for the overpass. The boom was knocked off the trailer and across all three driving lanes. Gizzi was ticketed but not injured.