EDINBURG - The state Department of Transportation may open the new Batchellerville Bridge to traffic in October - earlier than previously expected.
Since August 2010, the construction crews of Harrison and Burrowes have been working through summer heat and flood conditions to get the new bridge open to traffic.
"They're way ahead of schedule," said Edinburg Highway Department Superintendent Wayne Seelow. "They were expected to be done by 2014."
Work continues late last month on the new Batchellerville Bridge in Edinburg.
The Leader-Herald/John Borgolini
In March, the DOT expected to open the bridge to traffic in November.
Seelow said the workers already have completed flooring on the east and west sides of the bridge. Crews still are working on the center of the bridge and the sidewalks, he said.
Harrison and Burrowes co-owner Jeff DiStefano said the company also will add a bike path.
While the bridge may open in October, the demolition of the old bridge won't be completed until next year, he said.
"The project won't be complete [in October]," DiStefano said. "Chances are by mid- to late October, traffic will be on the bridge. Demolition of the old bridge will carry into next summer."
In a news release, DOT spokeswoman Carol Breen said crews are focusing on the concrete deck of the bridge. Breen said east deck has been completed.
"Once the concrete deck is completed, crews will build curbs and sidewalk, install bridge railing and lighting, and do other finishing treatments such as paving and striping," she said. " ... The project is progressing smoothly, and we are still on schedule to open the new bridge to traffic this fall."
DiStefano said he hasn't noticed any serious problems with the one-lane traffic that has been going over the old bridge, which stands next to the new one.
"There's been the occasional truck going across the bridge, but for the most part, 90 percent of the traffic has flowed smoothly," he said.
DiStefano doesn't expect anything will prevent the crews from completing the project this year.
"Other than the flooding of 2011 in the spring and summer, I've otherwise been happy with construction," he said. "I think it's safe to say that by late October, traffic will be on the bridge. I can't foresee anything that would delay that from happening."
Work on the $46 million project began in August 2010. The bridge is critical for connecting the town, which is split in two by the Great Sacandaga Lake. The new bridge will accommodate all legal loads, according to the DOT.