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80 bridge replacements completed under $542m Empire Bridge program

Staff Writer |
New York has completed work on 80 bridges in its $542 million Empire Bridge program, a key piece of New York's commitment to rebuilding critical infrastructure.

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The Empire Bridge program, now more than three-quarters of the way complete, is administered by the New York State Department of Transportation and includes replacing 100 aging, vulnerable structures across the state to make them more resilient against extreme weather.

The remaining 20 bridges are under construction. Completion of the Empire Bridge program will afford residents of New York State's communities stronger and more resilient bridges, and reduce the potential for highway travel delays and detours during heavy rains and floods.

It will allow for better access to life-saving emergency services during extreme storms or natural disasters.

The bridges included in the Empire Bridge Program remain safe for everyday traffic, but are vulnerable to scour caused by the intensity and velocity of water from extreme natural events.

Bridge scour erodes and carries away bridge foundation materials such as sand and rocks from around and beneath bridge abutments, piers and embankments.

Improvements include upgrading concrete bridge abutments and/or piers by adding steel or concrete pile foundations, increasing the size of waterway openings and reducing the number of bridge piers in the water to prevent debris buildup that can flood surrounding areas.

Rip rap, made up of large rocks, is often installed to armor bridge abutments and embankments against erosion.

The Route 28 bridge over Multanner Creek was the 80th project to be completed. Located in the center of the town of Fairfield, Herkimer County, the bridge carries approximately 1,700 vehicles per day and is just south of the Middleville Fire Department.

The replacement bridge allows more water to flow under the bridge and includes pedestrian accommodations.

Work on the $1.5 million bridge replacement project began in May of 2017 and is now substantially complete, although minor finishing work may still be occurring.

All of the completed bridges are open to traffic, but minor work, such as landscaping and adding signage, may continue through the fall on some projects.

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