SARATOGA COUNTY — The southbound lanes of the Northway below Exit 9 in Clifton Park will be shut down again late Saturday night, as the state Department of Transportation takes the next step in efforts to address the crash-damaged Sitterly Road overpass bridge.
All three southbound lanes will be closed from 11 p.m. until roughly 5 a.m. while crews install a temporary Sitterly Road bridge to replace the section removed in another overnight operation last weekend. The full closure will be preceded by a single right-lane closure Saturday during daylight hours to stage equipment.
Two lanes are scheduled to reopen by 5 a.m. on Sunday morning, with the right lane slated to reopen shortly after daybreak on Sunday morning. The southbound Exit 9 on-ramp from Route 146 will also be closed from 11 p.m. until 5 a.m.
The closures are taking place as DOT continues to deal with the aftermath of an April 14 incident in which a boom lift being hauled on a trailer struck the bottom of the Sitterly Road bridge. The boom fell across the driving lanes, requiring closure of all the southbound lanes for a day. The boom sliced through one bridge support beam and bent two others. The bridge was immediately closed and DOT engineers subsequently determined that the damage could not be repaired and a section the span would have to be replaced. That has led to the work on the last two weekends.
The driver of the truck that was pulling the trailer was ticketed, state police said.
During Saturday night’s closure, southbound Northway traffic will be detoured at Exit 9 onto eastbound Route 146. From there, the detour will direct motorists to southbound U.S. Route 9, and then westbound on Grooms Road, where drivers will be able to re-enter the Northway at Exit 8A.
Once the temporary bridge is in place, Sitterly Road over the Northway will remain closed to all traffic, including to pedestrians and bicyclists, until approach work, ramps, pavement and railings connecting to the temporary bridge are completed. In the meantime, travelers should continue to follow the existing posted detour.
Under normal conditions, the Sitterly Road bridge is used by about 15,000 vehicles per day, so the bridge outage has been a significant inconvenience for many people.
With two DOT workers having been injured in a work zone crash in Malta last Tuesday, DOT issued a reminder that motorists are required to slow down and move over in construction zones. Motorists should also slow down significantly whenever encountering roadside vehicles displaying red, white, blue, amber or green lights, including maintenance and construction vehicles in work zones.
“Motorists are urged to slow down and drive responsibly in work zones,” the agency said. “Fines are doubled for speeding in a work zone. Convictions of two or more speeding violations in a work zone could result in the suspension of an individual’s driver license.”