SCHENECTADY — Work is starting on a $3.5 million project to extend the life of the Michigan Avenue bridge over Interstate 890.
Initial work will replace and upgrade sidewalks approaching the bridge on both sides, and work is also scheduled to shore up the concrete piers underneath the bridge this fall, according to the state Department of Transportation. The sidewalk work will include installing Americans With Disabilities Act-compliant ramps.
The bridge deck and girders beneath it will be replaced next year.
Planning for the project has been underway since 2015. The 180-foot-long bridge was built in 1962, when the interstate was being constructed. That puts it at the end of its projected lifespan, but the work being done over the next two years is expected to extend its life by about 25 years.
"Our work on Michigan Avenue over I-890 is important to Schenectady because it underscores the important role that bridges and roads play in our day-to-day lives, making it possible for neighborhood residents and visitors to have a safe and viable connection to get to school and work, visit loved ones, run errands and participate in the lives of our communities," acting DOT Commissioner Cathy Calhous said in a prepared statement.
The work is being done by New Century Construction LLC of Watervliet.
The bridge connects the Mont Pleasant, Central State, Hamilton Hill and Vale neighborhoods. Between 8,600 and 10,000 vehicles use the span each day, based on DOT figures. Next year, the state anticipates the work will require alternating single-lane traffic, but there are no plans to close the bridge entirely.
"We’re not anticipating any full closures on the bridge itself but will likely have a couple of brief off-peak stoppages (likely at night, probably 10 to 20 minutes at a time) on I-890 next year during the setting of steel girders," DOT spokesman Bryan Viggiani said in an email.
"On the bridge, we’re anticipating alternating lane patterns during the bulk of the good-weather work next year (spring to fall)," he added. "This is absolutely necessary work to prolong the life of the crossing."