Construction is set to begin as part of a $146 million rehabilitation of the Patroon Island Bridge. As part of the project, two lanes in each direction will be closed most nights and traffic will be shifted so that the bridge deck can be replaced.
All lanes will be open during the morning and evening commuting hours. The project has no firm start date and is not expected to be completed until 2016.
The project involves all the ramps comprising the I-90 interchange with I-787. Work will include replacing the bridge decks and bearings, repairing steel and painting the bridges, as well as replacing or repairing the substructures of the interchange. Pre-cast concrete deck panels will be used to speed construction.
“Rehabilitating the Patroon Island Bridge is another way that the State is investing in our vital transportation infrastructure,” Governor Cuomo said in a statement. “This project will allow us to update and improve the bridge deck with minimal impact on travelers, and it is another sign of progress in our efforts to reimagine New York for the future.”
New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT) Commissioner Joan McDonald said, “The Patroon Island Bridge is a critical structure carrying tens of thousands of commuters each day, and serving as a major interstate connector for truckers carrying goods to and from all areas of the state. I thank Governor Cuomo for his dedication to funding this essential infrastructure project that will improve safety for motorists and reinforce a regional economic transportation link.”
Construction first began last year and continued through the winter. Four concrete piers supporting the ramps that make up the I-90 / I-787 interchange have been demolished. Work to demolish the remaining piers and build new ones will continue through the summer and into the fall, and work to install traffic monitoring systems is already underway. Single and double overnight lane closures will begin in April for construction of traffic crossovers and other preparations for deck replacement. Work to remove and replace the deck is expected to begin in late April in the eastbound direction.
As part of the Drivers First initiative developed by the Governor, the project plans went through a rigorous review to ensure that construction will have the least possible impact to the traveling public. Drivers First requires that capital construction road and bridge projects are assessed to ensure that work is planned to minimize the impact on highway users. For this project, it was determined that performing most of the work at night, with limited lane and ramp closures, would allow the project to be completed safely and efficiently while meeting the goals of the Drivers First initiative.
Most work will occur at night with all traffic crossed over from one side of the bridge to the other using a moveable zipper barrier. The six-lane bridge will maintain at least two lanes in one direction and one lane in the opposite direction throughout construction. Occasional weekend lane and ramp closures will occur as needed throughout the summer. The first weekend ramp closures are expected to occur in May. Travelers will be given advance notice of the closures and both long-distance and local traffic will be advised of alternate routes.
Single lane closures that are not expected to impact traffic will occur from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. All six lanes of the bridge will be open each weekday during the morning and afternoon rush hours. No lane closures will occur on major holiday weekends, including Memorial, Independence, Labor and Columbus days.
Senator Neil D. Breslin said, “I applaud Governor Cuomo for his continued support of our region's critical transportation infrastructure needs.
Improvements to the Patroon Island Bridge are necessary for the safety of the tens of thousands of motorists who use is it every day.”
Assembly Member John T. McDonald III said, “Thanks to the leadership of Governor Cuomo and the dedication of the staff at New York State Department of Transportation, we are addressing one of our most important bridge infrastructure projects in the Capital Region. This major east-west connector has been on the long list of infrastructure projects and I am glad to see it come to fruition. As with any project, there will be interruptions and limitations during construction but thankfully, due to the Drivers First program, motorist impact will be limited and the awareness effort put forth by the Department of Transportation will help tremendously in minimizing impact to those who travel this critical highway.”
Mayor Daniel Dwyer of the City of Rensselaer said, “The eastern terminus of the Patroon Island Bridge lies within the City of Rensselaer and represents a critical and central component of our region’s infrastructure. We are pleased that Governor Cuomo has focused his attention on this important link, improving safety and enhancing economic development efforts.”
Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan said, "I want to thank Governor Cuomo for his support in funding this project, which will provide significant improvements to one of the city's major gateways for both commuters and businesses. It's critically important that we address our infrastructure needs to improve safety and ensure the economic vitality of our entire region."
Successful briefings have been held with emergency responders, including fire, police and ambulance departments, from both Rensselaer and Albany counties to make them aware of project details and alternate routes. NYSDOT will continue to closely coordinate all lane closures with emergency service responders and will halt traffic as needed to allow emergency responders to cross the bridge.
The project is utilizing 29 variable message signs along various state routes, interstates and the Thruway to provide updated information. A project website lists alternate routes that will be available during construction. The public can also find project information on the Patroon Island Bridge Facebook page and on the @PatroonBridge Twitter feed. Motorists are also encouraged to call 511 or visit www.511NY.org to check traffic conditions before traveling.
The construction contractors for the NY Works project are Halmar International and A. Servidone-B. Anthony Construction Corp JV. The project is expected to be completed in 2016.
NY Works focuses on improving the condition of bridges from fair condition to good condition in order to extend their service life. This major rehabilitation will better preserve the heavily traveled bridge and ensure safety and mobility for decades.