Two Saratoga County bridges will get their abutments reinforced against possible future flood damage under new Federal Emergency Management Agency grants.
Bridges located on state highways in Malta and Greenfield are among 20 that will receive $47.8 million in funding to prevent erosion of their foundations, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said.
The projects include $3.6 million for the Route 9 bridge over the Kayaderosseras Creek, which separates the town of Malta and the city of Saratoga Springs. The bridge was built in 1928, and carries nearly 10,000 vehicles per day.
Another $1.1 million will be allocated for work on the Route 9N bridge over the Kayaderosseras Creek in Greenfield, a few miles northwest of Saratoga Springs. That bridge was built in 1934, and carries about 6,000 vehicles per day.
The bridges received funding because they could be subject to scour during high water events, state officials said. Scour erodes sand and rocks from around and beneath bridge abutments, piers, foundations and embankments.
The bridge scour program is being paid for with a mix of funding from FEMA and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. No state funding is involved, though the state is administering the grants.
“Part of adjusting to the new reality of extreme weather means we must bolster our infrastructure to be stronger than it ever was before — so that we rebuild with the next major storm in mind,” Cuomo said in a statement.
The Department of Transportation has identified 105 bridges around the state that it considers most at risk from repeated flooding. State officials continue to seek funding for the others.
All of the bridges were built to the codes and standards of their time and remain safe to use, DOT officials said. However, they are considered vulnerable to scour caused by the intensity and velocity of water when there are extreme natural events.
The work could include upgrading concrete bridge abutments by adding steel or concrete pile foundations, increasing the size of waterway openings to meet 100-year flood projections and reducing or eliminating the number of bridge piers in the water to prevent ice jams that can flood surrounding areas.
Three bridges in Rensselaer County and the Route 145 bridge over Fox Creek in Rensselaerville, Albany County, also received funding, according to Cuomo’s office.