$32.5 Million Design-Build Rexford Bridge to Carry Vehicles, Ease Congestion Between Saratoga and Schenectady Counties Beginning Today
$21.4 Million Cohoes Waterford Bridge Also to Begin Carrying Vehicles this Week
Projects Align with the Governor's Drivers First Initiative to Minimize Traffic During Construction
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that the first vehicles began crossing the new Rexford Bridge Wednesday morning and vehicles will also begin crossing the new Cohoes Waterford Bridge as early as tonight, depending on weather. The opening of these bridges demonstrate the Governor's focus on strengthening infrastructure in the Capital Region and across the entire state.
"Infrastructure in the Capital Region and across the entire state must meet the needs of our 21st century economy, and by investing in the modernization of new bridges, residents and visitors will safely travel throughout these communities," Governor Cuomo said. "By hardening critical arteries like the Rexford and Cohoes Waterford bridges, New York will provide reliable roadways for thousands of commuters and visitors for years to come."
The new Rexford Bridge opened Wednesday, July 26 in the southbound direction only. This is a key milestone in the $32.5 million design-build project to build a new Route 146 crossing over the Mohawk River between the towns of Clifton Park in Saratoga County and Niskayuna in Schenectady County.
Four lanes of traffic two in each direction are expected to begin using the new bridge by the end of the week, weather dependent. The old bridge only carried one lane in each direction.
The bridge also includes a separated shared use path for pedestrians and bicyclists, which will open shortly after traffic begins using the new bridge in both directions. The shared use path will establish a connection between Riverview Road in Rexford and the Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail in Niskayuna at East Street.
Work began in late 2015 on the new bridge, which is being built directly to the west of the existing structure. Approximately 22,000 vehicles use the Rexford crossing daily.
Work will continue on the Rexford project after traffic begins using the new bridge. This includes final paving of the roundabout, shoulder work, landscaping and removal of the old bridge. Remaining work is on schedule to be completed by the year's end.
The Rexford Bridge project is being progressed under a design-build contract, which calls for a single team of contractors to be responsible for both designing and building an entire project in order to ensure that coordination is seamless, and that work is completed in the shortest possible time frame. Design-build also provides cost certainty for the state with contractors assuming the risk for project delays and cost overruns.
Cohoes Waterford Bridge
The Cohoes Waterford Bridge is being built under Governor Cuomo's $542 million Empire Bridge Program, a key piece of New York's commitment to rebuilding critical infrastructure across New York State. The bridge spans the city of Cohoes in Albany County and the Northside neighborhood of the town of Waterford in Saratoga County.
One lane of traffic in each direction will begin using the new bridge as early as late Wednesday night, weather dependent, as approach work is completed to align Route 32 with the new bridge. When completed, the new Cohoes Waterford Bridge will carry three lanes of traffic two southbound, and one northbound, same as the existing span.
Work began in February 2016 on the new bridge, which has been built approximately 80 feet east of the old bridge, and continued through last winter.
Work will continue on the new Cohoes Waterford Bridge throughout the remainder of the summer and fall, including off-road work and demolition of the old bridge. Motorists should continue to watch for off-peak lane closures and flaggers throughout the remainder of the work. More than 16,000 motor vehicles use the Cohoes Waterford Bridge daily.
The Empire Bridge Program, which is administered by the New York State Department of Transportation, is replacing 100 aging structures across the state. The new bridges will be more resilient and better able to withstand flooding. Completion of the Empire Bridge Program will afford residents of communities across the State stronger and more resilient bridges, and reduce the potential for highway travel delays and detours during heavy rains and floods. It will ensure continued access to critical lifesaving services in the event of an emergency.
Both bridge projects are being completed in accordance with Governor Cuomo's Drivers First Initiative, which prioritizes the convenience of motorists and ensures that disruptions are kept at a minimum for drivers at highway and bridge projects across the state.
New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Matthew J. Driscoll said, "Under Governor Cuomo's leadership, we are making historic investments in our bridges and roads all over New York State investments that will pay dividends in economic development and better mobility for all users. The new Rexford Bridge will have twice the available lanes for motor vehicles at this important river crossing, while also adding a safer, better way for cyclists and pedestrians to cross the Mohawk and connect with the popular Mohawk-Hudson Bike-Hike Trail. Meanwhile, the Cohoes Waterford Bridge will continue to provide an important link between Albany and Saratoga counties, and complements investments we are making in both Cohoes and Waterford, including the planned Cohoes Gateway project and the ongoing rehabilitation of the 126th Street Bridge carrying Route 4 over the Hudson River between Waterford and Troy."
Motorists are reminded that fines are doubled for speeding in a work zone. In accordance with the Work Zone Safety Act of 2005, convictions of two or more speeding violations in a work zone could result in the suspension of an individual's driver's license.
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