A summer of road construction projects with a combined cost over $20 million is coming to a close as contractors wrap up work in four areas along Route 4 in Washington County and on Route 9 in South Glens Falls.
The biggest project has been the reconstruction of Route 4 through downtown Hudson Falls, the extension of work that began years ago south of the village of Fort Edward.
That project has tied up traffic in the village much of the summer, but Bryan Viggiani, a spokesman for the state Department of Transportation, said he expects it will be completed before the end-of-the-year deadline.
Viggiani said one of the highlights of the work has been that the Juckett Park circle had to be closed for only 11 hours on July 19 for deep roadwork.
“We closed at 5 a.m., and we were open by 4 p.m. that same day. We had scheduled it for the entire weekend.”
Traffic was worst in Hudson Falls and on Route 9. Bridgework in Whitehall and Fort Edward, and the reconstruction of a major intersection in Fort Ann, did not cause long delays. The Fort Ann work will widen the intersection at routes 4 and 149 and make it easier for tractor-trailers driving from the Northway to Rutland, Vermont.
The Route 9 work is complete, and three of the Route 4 projects are expected to be done by the end of the year.
The only work from these projects planned for next summer will be sidewalk installation and bridge-painting in Whitehall.
Route 4, Hudson Falls
The most extensive of the summer projects, now in its second and final year, has kept traffic moving slowly through downtown Hudson Falls.
The north and south sections of the project are done, with only the area around the traffic circle at Juckett Park remaining.
Crews are finishing sidewalk and curb installations and will do the top paving on the Juckett Park traffic circle next month. Around the end of September, period lighting will be put up and workers will put in trees and other plantings in various locations.
“The contract runs through the end of December, but we are a little ahead of schedule and should be done before then,” said DOT spokesman Bryan Viggiani.
Work completed already includes sewer and water lines and drainage systems and the paving work on the northern and southern ends of the project.
Cost: $10.5 million.
Routes 4 and 149, Fort Ann
Road construction crews are waiting for National Grid to move wires and install the taller poles needed for a new traffic signal at this intersection. That is scheduled to happen this week.
Then crews will widen the intersection and round the corners, install the traffic signals and the signal detectors and finish paving. DOT Spokesman Bryan Viggiani said the project should be finished by the end of the year, “barring significant weather.”
Crews have already demolished an antiques shop at the corner, put in sidewalks, put up street lighting and finished most of the drainage.
The corner often has traffic issues, which is one of the reasons for the work. Backups were only an issue during high travel and construction times.
Cost: $1.3 million.
Route 4, Whitehall
The first half of the deck of the Route 4 bridge over the Champlain Canal in Whitehall has been replaced, and the construction crews will be switching to the other half this week. Crews are also working below the bridge on pier, steel and abutment repairs.
Next year, the sidewalk will get replaced and the bridge will be painted.
The only traffic issues have been occasional backups, especially during high tourist travel times, but local drivers have found ways around the construction. There has been little impact on nearby businesses.
Cost: $5.56 million.
Route 197 bridge, Fort Edward/Moreau
Repairs are finished on the bridge, which is a connector between Route 4 and Route 9. Painting is the next step in its rehabilitation and should be completed by October.
“The Fort Edward job may not be as attention-getting, since it was a bridge rehabilitation. It’s important work, but perhaps not as ‘jazzy’ — nothing dramatic is visibly changing, like in the other jobs, it it’s definitely necessary work to keep the bridge in good condition,” said DOT Spokesman Bryan Viggiani.
Backups happened during bridge construction, but Viggiani said all that remains is occasionally alternating one-way traffic during painting.
Cost: $2.5 million
South Glens Falls, Route 9
“This one we’ve got all done, and the summer’s not even over,” said DOT Spokesman Bryan Viggiani. The construction, which was an extension of work done in earlier years, finished in the beginning of August. Viggiani said the work improved safety and mobility along the stretch from Feeder Dam Road to near River Street. Crews installed a center-turn lane and added and improved sidewalks.
Cost: $2.98 million