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Bridge in Charleston re-opens

Local officials in Montgomery County held a ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday for the new Burtonsville Spur Bridge to mark its reopening. The bridge had been heavily damaged due to flooding and was in need of complete replacement. (The Leader-Herald/Briana O'Hara)

CHARLESTON — The new Burtonsville Road Spur Bridge is officially complete, in which Montgomery County officials held a ribbon cutting ceremony on Thursday marking the reopening of the structure.

“I am just so thrilled with the way that everyone came together both the government partners and our private sector partners to get this done for the community,” said Montgomery County Executive Matt Ossenfort.

The bridge was also dedicated to the former Department of Public Works Commissioner Paul Clayburn who dedicated three decades of service to the county. A plaque that reads ” Burtonsville Spur Bridge dedicated in recognition of Paul Clayburn commissioner of public works –2001 to 2016 — whose efforts and dedicated service contributed greatly to the safety and improvement of Montgomery County highways and bridges,” will also be placed up in honor of Clayburn.

“Paul dedicated three decades of service to Montgomery County and was passionate about improving the safety of our roads and bridges,” Ossenfort said. “Repairing the Burtonsville Road Spur Bridge was one of Paul’s longstanding goals and now that it’s finally completed we felt it was important that his work towards completing this be remembered.”

The Burtonsville Bridge runs over the spur of the Schoharie Creek into Burtonsville. The bridge was heavily damaged due to flooding and in need of complete replacement. This unique crossing of the Schoharie Creek provides an overflow channel that enables floodwaters to pass below the roadway during extreme storm events such as Hurricane Irene in 2011.

Shown is Montgomery County Executive Matt Ossenfort, left, and former Department of Public Works Commissioner Paul Clayburn, right, who was dedicated the new Burtonsville Spur Road Bridge. (The Leader-Herald/Briana O'Hara)

Replacement costs were $3.1 million. The project was 80 percent funded by the federal government and 20 percent by New York state.

The existing bridge, constructed in 1939 was a two span, 180 foot-long steel thru-girder structure. Over time, the bridge had deteriorated and was posted for a 10 ton maximum load limit when the old structure was finally removed earlier this year. It is the only bridge over the Schoharie Creek from the Gilboa Dam to the Mohawk River that has an overflow channel. This overflow channel allows the crossing to remain open or to close temporarily during high water events providing a more reliable crossing that serves three counties directly adjacent to the structure — those counties are Montgomery, Schoharie and Schenectady.

“Replacing the deteriorating infrastructure and improving the safety in our county has been one of my top priorities,” Ossenfort said. “I’m pleased to see the completion of this bridge and I’m thankful that Paul made this project such a priority.”

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