Ogdensburg Bridge Could Need $100 Million In Repairs

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Engineers have good news and bad news when it comes to the Ogdensburg-Prescott International Bridge.

The good news is that the 53 year old span is in "satisfactory to good condition."

"The bad news is - as with anything that's 50-plus years old, it needs some general, major maintenance," said Wade Davis of the Ogdensburg Bridge & Port Authority.

In all, the repairs would cost more than $100 million.
 
Over the years, harsh weather conditions and heavy traffic use have taken a toll on the 1.5 mile long suspension bridge.

Even though millions of dollars have been spent on maintenance through the years, the findings of the most recent inspection pointed out several deficiencies that are not considered an immediate safety concern but will still need to be fixed.
 
Among the problem areas found were corrosion holes in 28 separate bridge floor joists, which are deteriorating at an accelerated rate on both the U.S. and Canadian sides.

The inspection recommended that if repairs to the steel aren't made in the near future, at an estimated cost of $39 million, it could eventually affect the weight loads of vehicles using the bridge.

Officials also pointed to the need for a in-depth inspection of the bridge's main cables suspender ropes.

The biggest expense, costing $65 million, focuses on the need to repaint the entire bridge.

The problem is finding the money to pay for the rehabilitation.

"We'll break it down into phases and structure it on a multi-year, multi-project approach," said Davis.

He said a variety of sources, including the state and federal governments, will be asked to pay for the work.

More than 725,000 vehicles and close to $4 billion of goods cross the bridge every year.

Monday, November 24, 2014
, Watertown, NY

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