Historic Bridge Carrying State Route 9 Will Be Raised to Reduce Potential of Flooding and Ice Jams Impacting the Bridge
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced the start of a $6.2 million project to improve the resiliency of the historic Carpenter’s Flats Bridge, which carries State Route 9 over the Ausable River in Clinton County. The project will raise the steel truss bridge by three-and-a-half feet and make other improvements to help lessen the impact of ice jams, reduce instances of flooding and enhance safety along this vital corridor for North County travelers. State Route 9 stitches together the communities along the western shore of Lake Champlain and is used by motorists to reach the City of Plattsburgh, the State of Vermont, the Canadian border and other popular destinations in the region.
“As countless communities across the state continue to recover from this weekend’s devastating flooding, we remain committed to hardening New York State’s transportation infrastructure,” Governor Hochul said. “Raising this iconic bridge over the beautiful Ausable River will enable local commuters and tourists alike to travel this crucial area of the North Country unimpeded and will help ensure that we are prepared to meet the challenges of climate change head on.”
The Carpenter’s Flats Bridge, which was constructed in 1941, is listed on National Register of Historic Places and is viewed as a prime example of mid-20th century bridge engineering and construction. Completion of the 255-foot-long bridge helped turn State Route 9 into a major north-south highway and eased transportation throughout the region.
As part of the project, the steel truss, which was previously rehabilitated in 1994, will receive minor repairs and will be lifted to its new height before new concrete caps are poured to the top of the substructure to match the new elevation. Additionally, the bridge approaches will be rehabilitated, and the guide rails will be brought up to modern standards.
During construction, traffic will be detoured around the site using State Route 9 and 9N, as well as State Route 22 and 422. The detour routes will be signed, and electronic message boards will be deployed to alert motorists of the work. The project is expected to be complete by the fall of 2023.
The project is partially funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in addition to state funding.
New York State Department of Transportation Commissioner Marie Therese Dominguez said, “As our climate continues to change, New York State is making the necessary investments to modernize our infrastructure and make sure it is ready to withstand whatever challenges Mother Nature has in store for us. The improvements we are making to the Carpenter’s Flats Bridge will help reduce the spring ice jams that have become an all-too-common occurrence at this location and ensure that this historic structure continues to serve North Country travelers, all while enhancing resiliency and sustainability in the region.”
Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer said, “Carpenter’s Flats Bridge, which carries State Route 9, is a vital connector in the North Country used by residents every day traveling from Plattsburgh to Vermont and tourists along the shores of Lake Champlain, but for years, its aging infrastructure has needed long overdue repairs to ensure the long term stability of this corridor. That is why I am so proud to have helped deliver the critical federal funding to restore this important link before repairs prove a bridge too far,” said Senator Schumer. “This much needed investment will help lessen the impact of ice jams, reduce instances of flooding, and enhance safety along this vital corridor, boosting the North Country economy and giving travelers a safer, more secure commute.”
State Senator Daniel Stec said, “As we’ve seen in the aftermath of the recent flooding and road damage in Clinton County, a substantial investment is needed in our local infrastructure. The Carpenter’s Flats Bridge rehabilitation project is an important one that will help ensure traveler safety and and reduce the likelihood of severe storm damage to this crucial bridge. I’m pleased to see work on it begin.”
Assemblymember Billy Jones said, “It is imperative that the roads and bridges we use every day are safe. NYSDOT’s rehabilitation project at the Carpenter Flats Bridge over the Ausable River will not only ensure public safety but will also raise the bridge to better handle ice jams and other extreme weather conditions. As we continue to experience severe weather around the region, we know firsthand the impacts of climate change and the how necessary it is to make these changes to our infrastructure.”
Peru Town Supervisor Brandy McDonald said, “I feel this is a great project that needs to be done for the safety from ice jams and flooding. I appreciate the patience of the people living on either side of the bridge during this construction period.”
Motorists are urged to slow down and drive responsibly in work zones. Fines are doubled for speeding in a work zone. Convictions of two or more speeding violations in a work zone could result in the suspension of an individual’s driver license.
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